St. Louis Encephalitis strain detected in Martin County sentinel chickens

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla.-- Martin County has a new health concern.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the presence of the St. Louis encephalitis virus has been detected in sentinel chickens in the Jensen Beach and Indiantown area.

It is transmitted between birds and mosquitoes. However an infected mosquito can bite humans.

According to the Centers for Disease Control: Initial symptoms of those who become ill include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Severe neuroinvasive disease (often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) occurs more commonly in older adults. In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result.

The health department reminds you to drain standing water in your yard and cover your unprotected skin with clothing or repellent.

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