By Bay City News Service
The first bird in Alameda County to test positive for West Nile Virus this year was detected Friday, the Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District manager said.
The crew found the dead crow in Livermore Thursday after someone called the West Nile Virus hotline and reported the bird in the area, district manager John Rusmisel said.
Testing this morning at Hayward facilities revealed the bird was the first "acutely positive" bird in Alameda County, Rusmisel said.
Crows and ravens are good indicators that the virus is being spread within the county limits as they die quickly after infection from mosquitoes, Rusmisel said.
Other birds, such as sparrows, can live and fly far distances while carrying the virus for months, throwing off where the infection was contracted.
That the infected crow was found in Livermore, which is part of the Tri-Valley area, is not surprising, the district manager said.
"We predict that the Tri-Valley area, being the warmest part of the county, will be the focus of West Nile Virus infections this year."
Rusmisel advised residents to check outdoor spaces for standing water.
Other tips to prevent residents from mosquito bites and therefore West Nile Virus, which is spread through the bugs, include avoiding spending time outdoors at dusk and dawn, wearing DEET insect repellent and dressing appropriately when outdoors in buggy areas.
For more information about mosquitoes and West Nile Virus visit mosquitoes.org.