LIVERMORE -- The Alameda County Mosquito Abatement District is advising residents living in mosquito-prone areas to be vigilant after a dead bird tested positive for the West Nile virus.
The district announced Friday that an American Crow found in Livermore, east of the airport just off Airway Boulevard, was the first documented case of the virus in the county so far this year.
With the discovery and uptick in West Nile virus cases nationwide, the district is asking county residents -- especially those in the Tri-Valley -- to drain all standing water around their homes and to not overwater their lawns to help stem the tide of mosquitoes, which transmit West Nile virus.
Residents are also asked to avoid spending time outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and the first two hours after sunset. If resident do spend time outdoors the district advises them to use mosquito repellent and to dress accordingly.
There are no plans for any fogging with pesticides, but the district is stepping up testing in the county, said John Rusmisel, the district manager.
"It was not a huge surprise," Rusmisel said about the discovery. "We expected it and have had one every year since West Nile was detected in the state."
Residents who spot a dead bird are asked to report it to the California Department of Health Services by calling 1-877-WNV-BIRD or 877-968-2473 or visiting www.westnile.ca.gov.
Nationwide there have been 693 human cases of the virus with 26 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The weather has played a key role in the spike in cases this year, said Rusmisel.
"It's basically the perfect storm," Rusmisel said. "All the elements you need for a West Nile virus outbreak are there, a drought, concentrated sources of water for birds and mosquitoes looking to breed."
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/robjordan127.