The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District is warning residents that hotter weather could mean more mosquitoes in the area and with them, the continued spread of the West Nile Virus.
"The cooler weather has been beneficial so far," district spokeswoman Deborah Bass said. "But the hot weather we are expecting may lead to greater mosquito populations and possible virus amplification, which is typical in the summer."
Bass said that while the district is doing its part to eradicate mosquitoes, county residents are also asked to keep the insects at bay by dumping the standing water that attracts them.
According to the district, just one neglected swimming pool can produce more than 1 million mosquitoes.
Over the past two weeks, crews throughout the county have found seven dead birds including a chicken that tested positive for the virus, the spokeswoman said.
Two of the birds were found in Brentwood and the rest in Bethel Island, Danville, Lafayette and Pittsburg. The chicken was found in the Holland Tract area near Knightsen, according to district officials.
Bass said birds are conduits for the virus, since mosquitoes that bite infected birds can then bite humans.
While most people infected with the virus don't show symptoms, signs of infection range from tiredness, head and body aches to fever and, in rare cases, death.
In addition to draining any standing water on their properties, residents are advised to wear mosquito repellent or to avoid being outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most often around.
Contra Costa County residents may report neglected swimming pools that can act as mosquito magnets by calling (925) 771-6195.
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