The birds, both American crows, were found near Pecan Place and Hickory Drive in Brentwood and Sunset Road and Eden Plains Road in Knightsen. The infected mosquitos were trapped in Brentwood, one group at Garin Parkway and Spruce Street and the other group at Chestnut Street and Sellers Avenue.
“Our employees are scouring the area to find mosquito sources, and we have found many backyard sources, such as fish ponds and neglected pools, that had mosquitos,” said Carlos Sanabria, district operations manager. “But we are still trapping high numbers of mosquitos and need the public’s help finding their sources nestled in their neighborhoods.”
Sanabria urges residents to check their properties for mosquito sources and report to the district any neglected standing water, including neglected swimming pools, in their neighborhoods. Reports may be made anonymously.
Residents are urged to wear mosquito repellent when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk, when mosquitos are present. West Nile virus symptoms of the mild form include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks.
“The risk of West Nile virus is elevated due to several factors,” said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the district. “Those include hot weather, the presence of infected dead birds, as well as high populations of mosquitos in the area.”
Less than 1 percent of those infected with West Nile virus (about 1 in 150) will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms can last several weeks, and neurological effects can be permanent. West Nile virus infection can be fatal.
Residents are urged to reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
• Avoid producing mosquitos on your property by dumping or draining standing water. Mosquitos can’t begin their life without water.
• Defend yourself against mosquitos by using repellents containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
• Avoid being outdoors when mosquitos are present, typically at dawn and dusk.
• Report neglected swimming pools by calling 925-771-6195 or visiting www.contracostamosquito.com. Anonymous calls are accepted. Just one neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitos and affect people up to five miles away.
Since 2005, 39 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease.
Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, an independent special district and public health agency, is located at 155 Mason Circle in Concord. Visit the office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get free mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.
For information concerning human West Nile virus symptoms, prevention or testing, call the Contra Costa Health Services department at 888-959-9911. For information concerning West Nile virus and horses, call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch at 916-654-1447.