West Nile found in Riverview chicken

Published 8:56 pm Wednesday, July 22, 2009

By Staff
from staff reports
Health officials are warning area residents to take precautions against mosquito bites after a sentinel chicken tested positive for West Nile virus.
The chicken was in the Riverview area, Escambia County Health Department officials said Tuesday.
Ongoing public health surveillance has detected no mosquito-borne virus activity in humans in Escambia County this year, said Escambia County Health Department Environmentalist Josh Coleman.
West Nile virus, EEE and other mosquito-borne viruses are transmitted from bird to mosquito to bird.
Occasionally, the same mosquitoes will take blood from mammals, including humans and horses. Humans and horses can sometimes become ill from the infection.
The likelihood of transmission to humans and horses can be decreased by personal mosquito avoidance and the use of WNV and EEE vaccine in horses. There is no vaccine available for humans, health officials said.
Escambia County Health Department established a mosquito control program in 2008 that includes surveillance activities such as mosquito trapping and sentinel chicken surveillance.
These activities are conducted to monitor for mosquito-borne diseases and track mosquito populations.
Serum samples are taken each week from the six sentinel chicken flocks and tested for the presence of WNV, EEE and St. Louis Encephalitis.

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