The number of West Nile Virus cases have risen 40 percent in one week and the number could rise to the historic highs recorded in 2002 and 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control
"As of August 28, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes," according to the CDC website. "A total of 1,590 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 66 deaths.
The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District's website has released a map showing the location of cases. The district also has released the following information about how to control mosquitoes and how to report dead birds that can be tested for the virus:
Residents are urged to help reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne diseases by following these guidelines:
- Don't produce mosquitoes on your property. 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 925-771-6195 or visiting www.ContraCostaMosquito.com Anonymous calls accepted. Just one neglected pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes 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. Studies have shown that the majority of cases are undiagnosed.
Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District, an independent special district and public health agency, is located at 155 Mason Circle in Concord. Call the District to report mosquito problems at (925) 771-6195 or visit their office between 8:00 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, please call the Contra Costa Health Services department at (888) 959-9911. For information concerning West Nile virus and horses, please call the California Department of Food and Agriculture Animal Health Branch at (916) 654-1447.
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