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Press Release

Contra Costa Urges Protection Following First Human Case of West Nile Virus

Friday, September 23, 2011

Contra Costa health officials are advising residents to take steps to protect themselves from West Nile virus following the county’s first confirmed human case of the year. There were four confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in 2010.

A state laboratory in Richmond on Thursday confirmed that a 49-year-old East County woman was infected with the disease. She is expected to make a full recovery. There have been no fatalities related to West Nile virus in Contra Costa since 2006.

"Although West Nile virus can be a serious disease, most people who become infected with the virus do not develop symptoms," said Susan Farley, Communicable Disease Nurse Manager for Contra Costa Health Services. "It is important to remember that West Nile virus is preventable and is only spread from the bite of a mosquito."

Farley said the primary symptoms of West Nile virus are fever, head and body aches, nausea and vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and skin rash.

People can protect themselves by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds, dumping and draining stagnant water, wearing insect repellent that contains DEET, staying indoors during dawn and dusk, and reporting neglected swimming pools, according to Farley.

In addition, she said people should report dead birds to the state at or 1-877-968-2473.

Additional information about how to protect yourself and your home from West Nile virus is available at and 1-888-959-9911 or 211. For more information about mosquito abatement in Contra Costa County, contact the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District at or 925-771-6196.

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Press Contact
  • Susan Farley
  • 925-313-6796