First indication of West Nile virus in Alameda County for 2017 HAYWARD, CA – The Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District is reporting a dead bird that tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the County’s first indication of active virus transmission this year. The bird was collected from the City of Oakland and tested at the District laboratory on July 17, 2017.
The District is greatly increasing surveillance and larval control efforts throughout the area with the positive West Nile virus detection. Every effort is being made to locate areas of standing water where mosquitoes may breed including but not limited to catchbasins, stormdrain systems, and swimming pools. Neglected swimming pools continue to be a mosquito breeding issue in Alameda County. If you or anyone you know has an unmaintained swimming pool please inform the District so the proper treatment can be made.
“West Nile virus is endemic to Alameda County,” says Laboratory Director Eric Haas-Stapleton, PhD. “We will continue to eliminate mosquitoes that spread the virus, but we need the public to help by reducing mosquito breeding sites. Dump and drain or tightly cover containers that have standing water to reduce mosquitoes around your house and workplace.”
As of July 14, California has had 71 dead birds, 17 sentinel chickens, 681 mosquito samples, and 4 humans test positive for West Nile virus. The positive number of humans is higher than this time last year.
Reduce the risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
- DUMP/DRAIN standing water on your property because that is where mosquitoes develop.
- DAWN/DUSK is when mosquito activity peaks, limit outdoor activities during this time.
- DEFEND yourself from mosquito bites by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts and apply insect repellent containing EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- DOOR/window screens should be in good repair with no tears or holes.
West Nile virus is transmitted to people and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no cure for West Nile virus. Approximately one in five people who are infected with West Nile virus will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, or rash. Less than one percent will develop a serious neurological illness such as encephalitis or meningitis. Adults over 50 years old and people with compromised immune systems are at increased risk of serious complications. Anyone who develops symptoms should seek medical care immediately.
Horses are very susceptible to West Nile virus and vaccines are available. Horse owners are advised to contact their veterinarians regarding timely vaccinations.
For information about mosquitoes, West Nile virus, or to request any of the District services visit www.mosquitoes.org or call (510) 783-7744. Residents can also request mosquitofish for their fish ponds, horse troughs, or neglected swimming pools at the the District office located in Hayward at 23187 Connecticut St. For information concerning West Nile virus symptoms, prevention or testing please contact the Alameda County Public Health Department at (510) 267-8001.