WEST PALM BEACH, Fla., Sept. 11 (UPI) — Health officials say the West Nile virus has been found in sentinel chickens and warn residents of Palm Beach County, Fla., to avoid mosquito bites.
The county Health Department said Friday the virus has been detected in 12 chickens this month, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported. The equine encephalitis virus was found in a horse put down earlier this month but has not yet shown up in chickens.
While West Nile infections in humans are usually mild with flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all, it can lead to potentially deadly meningitis or encephalitis. Equine encephalitis cannot be transmitted directly from horses to humans.
Health officials advised area residents to use insect repellent and protective clothing to avoid being bitten. Homeowners should get rid standing water and keep swimming pools chlorinated so mosquitoes will be unable to breed.
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