The first sign of West Nile Virus activity in Contra Costa County this year came from a dead bird found in Antioch, county Mosquito and Vector Control District announced. An American crow was found near Yellowstone Drive and Hillcrest Avenue.
"With West Nile Virus activity in several counties around us, we knew it was just a matter of time," said the District's Public Affairs Manager Deborah Bass. "Only this year brings an elevated risk factor-the yellow fever mosquito which has been found for the first time in Madera County, a mere two hours south of our own county."
The district also noted two new invasive mosquito species have elevated the risk of mosquito borne diseases. Although Aedes aegypti (the yellow fever mosquito) and the Aedes albopictus (the Asian tiger mosquito) haven't been found in Contra Costa County, officials said their existence makes public cooperation essential. Both mosquitoes can transmit debilitating and sometime fatal diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya.
"Regardless of the mosquito species, our advice is the same: dump standing water and take the proper precautions," Bass said. "Wear mosquito repellent, make sure your window screens are in good repair and report mosquito problems to us."
Bass said that the District accepts anonymous reports of water sources where mosquitoes may be developing.
To report mosquito problems cal 771-6195 or visit the District office at 155 Mason Circle in Concord between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to get free mosquitofish for ornamental ponds, horse troughs or neglected swimming pools.