Chicken Tests Positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Pinellas County

The disease is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes.

Friday, Jan 17, 2014  |  Updated 10:24 AM EDT
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Health officials in Pinellas County say a "sentinel chicken" has tested positive for mosquito-borne Eastern equine encephalitis.

The test was confirmed this week in one of the chickens kept at Sawgrass Lake Park to warn officials when there are mosquitoes carrying diseases.

The Tampa Bay Times reports recent rain has caused an increased in the county's mosquito population.

Health officials advise residents to empty standing water from any containers in their yards. They should also flush out areas that collect standing water.

The disease is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While it's rare in humans, the virus can cause headaches, fever, chills and vomiting, along with out issues.

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