HAYWARD – 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 and the first West Nile virus positive bird in the state. The bird was an American Crow picked up in the City of Fremont (Zip Code 94536). Last year, Alameda County detected its first West Nile virus positive bird of the season at the end of May. This year’s first positive bird was collected in February.
Unseasonably high temperatures are leading to an earlier start to the mosquito season. Since West Nile virus is a mosquito-transmitted disease, controlling the mosquito population is paramount. “Mosquitoes must have standing water to complete their lifecycle,” said District Environmental Specialist Erika Castillo. “We need all residents of the county to check their own front and backyards for any standing water and dump it.”
Castillo said, “Personal protection measures are also very important. Use mosquito repellent containing either DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus and wear long sleeves and long pants when going outside; put screens on your windows and doors.” Alameda County residents may contact the District if they are being bothered by mosquitoes or know of a potential mosquito breeding source.
As part of our on-going surveillance program, the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District is asking the public to report any dead tree squirrels or wild birds (especially crows, ravens, jays, magpies and birds of prey) that have been dead less than 48 hours (and show no signs of decomposition). The California Department of Public Health will reopen the state dead bird reporting hotline on April 15th. Their website address for reporting the dead birds is: www.westnile.ca.gov. They can also be reached by phone: (877)WNV-BIRD/(877)968-2473. If Alameda County residents would like to report a dead bird before then they may contact the District office.
The public can access information about mosquitoes, West Nile virus, and mosquitofish on our website: www.mosquitoes.org. Residents can also pick up FREE mosquito-larvae eating fish at our District office from 7:30-4:30pm for their ornamental ponds, horse troughs, or neglected swimming pools. We are located in Hayward at 23187 Connecticut St. Our phone number is (510)783-7744.