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West Nile virus found in chickens in Belle Glade and Pahokee, health officials say

Posted at 3:30 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 16:00:37-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The deadly mosquito-borne West Nile virus has been detected in chickens in the Belle Glade and Pahokee areas, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Because of that, health officials are now warning residents to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The DOH recommends doing the following:

  • Drain any standing water around your home or business
  • Make sure windows and doors are screened properly and in good condition
  • Use air conditioning
  • Use an insect repellent that contains DEET or Picardin
  • Wear lightweight long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active

The Florida Department of Health places sentinel chicken flocks throughout the Palm Beach County from Delray Beach to Jupiter, and from West Palm Beach to Belle Glade and Pahokee.

Scientists then test the blood of those chickens every week for the presence of mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile.

Health officials said the last reported case of West Nile virus in a human was in 2011.

For more information about West Nile virus, including what you can do to protect yourself, click here.