Home   News

West Nile Virus Detected In Another Sentinel Chicken

By Mark Bryant

A sentinel chicken used by the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) to detect mosquito-borne diseases in the community has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

WNV has been confirmed by laboratory results, according to Dr. Kevin P. Michaels, Health Officer for Mobile County. The coop is located in the 36582 ZIP Code area.

Vector Services has had sentinel chickens in six coops test positive for viruses this year. Five have been for WNV while a sixth was positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).

Humans with WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases often have symptoms of high fever, severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis, disorientation, and seizures that are severe enough to require medical attention.

The risk of encephalitis spread by mosquitoes is highest from August through the first freeze in the fall. MCHD’s Vector Services will increase spraying and conduct door-to-door surveys in the immediate areas. Inspectors will also attempt to trap adult mosquitoes and test them for the presence of WNV.

Blood is drawn from the sentinel chickens every Monday by Vector Services, and the samples are sent to a lab in Tampa, Florida. The results of the tests are made available later in the week.

Health officials warn that it is extremely important that people taking part in outdoor activities make every effort to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes. Recommendations include:
• Use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered repellent with DEET.
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
• Stay and sleep in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.
• Remove standing water around your home.

WNV is transmitted from bird to mosquito to bird during the transmission cycle. Mosquitoes can spread these viruses by feeding on the blood of infected birds and then biting another host animal or mammal, such as a human or a horse.

Although humans and horses can become ill from the infection, the diseases cannot be spread from people or horses. The likelihood of transmission to humans and horses can be decreased by personal mosquito avoidance and the use of a WNV vaccine in horses. There is no vaccine available for humans.

Click here to see more...

Trending Video

Sheep Farming Vlog: Nothing Is Ever Black Or White!

Video: Sheep Farming Vlog: Nothing Is Ever Black Or White!

Today at Ewetopia Farms, we address a few comments on issues that may seem straightforward on the farm, but rarely is anything ever black or white. Today is also the day we ship our sheep to western Canada. So we show you how we mark the lambs for identification and loading them onto the trailer.

Sheep and sheep farming is our passion and we hope that the love we have for what we do is obvious to you the viewers. Our operation is a large scale, registered Suffolk and Poll Dorset sheep farm combining the best of pasture and confinement to manage the flock for maximum comfort, minimal stress, and producing a consistent, very high quality product. Our focus is on providing breeding stock for sale to other sheep producers. All our sheep are treated with the utmost compassion which I think will become evident as you join us on our daily rounds on our working sheep farm in eastern Ontario, Canada.

I hope you enjoy this video. If you would like to follow along with us and experience life on a real live sheep farm on a daily basis, please subscribe so that you don't miss a single episode!