Two dead birds, one found in Pleasanton and the other in Oakland, have tested positive for West Nile Virus, reported the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District.
This is the first indication of active virus transmission this year, according to the district. The birds were both American crows.
Since West Nile Virus is a mosquito-transmitted disease, controlling the mosquito population is paramount. District staff routinely inspects and treats all known mosquito sources, including but not limited to storm drains, catch basins and neglected swimming pools.
"Mosquitoes must have standing water to complete their lifecycle," said District Manager Chindi Peavey. "We need all residents of the county, especially those in the positive bird areas, to check their own front and back yards for any standing water and dump it."
"Personal protection measures are also very important, " Peavey said. "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."
Residents may contact the Mosquito Abatement District if they are being bothered by mosquitoes or know of a potential mosquito breeding source.
As part of an 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), to the California Department of Public Health. The website address for reporting the dead birds is www.westnile.ca.gov. They can also be reached by phone at (877) WNV-BIRD (968-2473).