Chicken tests positive for West Nile
Pinellas County Mosquito Control has confirmed a positive test result for West Nile Virus in a sentinel chicken today, Oct. 11, in the Cross Bayou area of St. Petersburg. Technicians are responding with treatment targeting adult mosquitoes and larvae by ground and by air in the area in addition to their ongoing treatment efforts.
Sentinel chickens serve as an early-warning detection system for some mosquito-borne diseases and can signal that disease-carrying mosquitoes are present. This system alerts Mosquito Control to the presence of diseases such as West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, and Highlands J Virus. There are eight locations in the county where chickens are kept and tested weekly.
Citizens are urged to protect themselves from mosquitoes by staying indoors during the peak hours of mosquito activity at dawn and dusk when possible; using approved mosquito repellants, and ensuring screens and seals are intact around windows and doors.
Residents are also urged to be diligent in ridding their properties of standing water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as one quarter inch of standing water.
Visit www.pinellascounty.org/resident/mosquito_control.htm to find a mosquito control request form and additional information about stopping mosquitoes. Residents can also contact Pinellas County Mosquito Control at (727) 464-7503 or through the Pinellas County “Doing Things for You” app.