OAKLEY, Calif. (BCN) — The first mosquitoes found in Contra Costa County to test positive for West Nile virus have been discovered in the East County city of Oakley, the Contra Costa Mosquito & Vector Control District announced Friday.

A trap caught the mosquitoes, which can become infected when they bite certain species of birds that carry the virus and then can pass it onto a person or other animal through a bite. Back in May, the vector control district found a dead American crow that tested positive for West Nile.

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Since 2005, 75 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with the virus and in 2006, two people died from it. Symptoms can include fever, head and body aches, and those 50 and up or with chronic medical conditions are most at risk of developing more serious complications.

The vector control district encourages residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of catching the virus by using insect repellents and avoiding being outside where mosquitoes are present, if possible. People can also make sure to dump out any standing water, which can provide breeding grounds for the insects.

People can report dead birds to the district by calling (877) WNV-BIRD or going to https://westnile.ca.gov/report.php. People can also request mosquito service at their residential property by calling (925) 685-9301 or going to https://contracosta.leateamapps.com/#/public/servicerequest.

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