CONTRA COSTA—On Friday, August 14, the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District announced that they found a group of mosquitoes that tested positive for the West Nile Virus near Byron in Contra Costa County.

According to Steve Schutz, the District’s Scientific Programs Manager said in a statement:

“August and September are the peak months for human cases of West Nile virus. Dead birds, especially crows and jays, are often a good early indication that West Nile virus is present in a particular area. Birds can be carriers of West Nile virus.”

The statement noted that two people died after contracting West Nile, and 66 people have been diagnosed with the virus in Contra Costa County since 2005. West Nile Virus causes fever, which is mostly transmitted by Culex, one of the mosquito species.

Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District introduced some tips that residents can reduce risks of infecting with West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases by:

-Dumping or draining standing water. All mosquitoes develop from egg to adult in water.

-Defending yourself – use repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.

-Keeping swimming pools chlorinated and filtered. Just one neglected pool can produce up to 1 million mosquitoes and affect people several miles away.

-Avoiding the outdoors when mosquitoes are present, typically dawn and dusk.

The Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District encourages residents to report mosquito issues online or call at (925) 685-9301.