Dead bird tests positive for West Nile virus in Antioch

ANTIOCH (KRON) — Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District officials announced on Tuesday morning that a dead bird found in Antioch has tested positive for West Nile virus.

West Nile Virus was found in a bird recovered near Prewett Ranch and Mokelumne drives, making this the first appearance of the mosquito-borne infection in Contra Costa County in 2016, according to district officials.

“This is not a surprise as we are already seeing virus activity in surrounding counties,” the district’s scientific program manager, Steve Schutz, said in a statement.

Since 2005, 55 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus. In 2006, two people died from the disease.

Humabns can develop West Nile virus infections through just one mosquito bite. The virus may cause fevers, headaches and body aches, and in some rare cases, neurological damage or death.

The district is advising residents to take preventative measures such as dumping or draining standing water, using repellents and avoiding being outdoors when mosquitoes are present.

“We can only test dead birds if we receive reports from members of the public,” Schutz said. “So far this year, we are getting fewer calls than in the past and we definitely could use more.”

The district is also asking the public to report the discovery of dead birds by calling 877-968-2473.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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