More dead birds have tested positive for West Nile virus in Contra Costa County, including a third bird in Danville.
The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District announced that an American Crow was found near the intersection of Bradford Place and Del Amigo Road. Other birds have also been found in Bethel Island, Brentwood, Lafayette and Pittsburg.
"The cooler weather has been beneficial so far," said Deborah Bass, public affairs manager for the District. "But the hot weather we are expecting may lead to greater mosquito populations and possible virus amplification, which is typical in the summer."
Weather forecasts in the San Ramon Valley are calling for temperatures in the triple digits this weekend.
Birds are the reservoir for West Nile virus. People can become infected when a mosquito bites a bird and then a person. One neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes and affect people up to five miles away, District officials stated.
"We are working hard to keep the mosquito populations under control and ask the public to do the same. It's all about standing water -- just dump it out," Bass added.
West Nile virus symptoms of the mild form include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, and swollen lymph glands. While the illness can last only a few days, even healthy people have reported being sick for several weeks. West Nile virus of the severe form can be fatal.
Residents are urged to help reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
* Dump or drain standing water. Mosquitoes can't begin their life without water.
* Defend yourself against mosquitoes using repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
* Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.
* Report neglected swimming pools by calling 771-6195 or visiting www.ContraCostaMosquito.com. Anonymous calls accepted.
Since 2005, 42 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease. Recent studies have shown that the majority of cases are not diagnosed and grossly under reported. For 2013, a total of twelve groups of mosquitoes, 58 dead birds and five chickens have tested positive for the virus.