Hernando County Mosquito Control announced that a sentinel chicken has tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus. The chicken is part of a flock kept near Cortez and Ridge Manor boulevards, in Ridge Manor.
The encephalitis, a mosquito-borne virus, is not harmful to chickens, but can be deadly to humans and horses. While Mosquito Control staff is monitoring the area for mosquito activity, the Hernando County Health Department reminds residents to be vigilant about mosquito bite prevention, and horse owners are encouraged to have their horses vaccinated every six months.
No human cases have been reported in Hernando County. Symptoms of EEE in humans appear four to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms include headache, high fever, chills and vomiting.
The Health Department encourages those who have been recently bitten by mosquitoes and are experiencing symptoms to contact a medical provider immediately.
For further information, call the Health Department at (352) 540-6800, ext. 82165. To request mosquito control services, call (352) 540-6552.