BROOKSVILLE — Another sentinel chicken has tested positive for a mosquito-borne illness in Hernando County, this time off Zebrafinch Avenue, in the far northwest corner of the county, Hernando County Mosquito Control announced Thursday.
The chicken had been exposed to eastern equine encephalitis, indicating that mosquitoes in the area are carrying the virus. The finding comes just two weeks after a sentinel chicken was found with West Nile virus off Mildred Street in Brooksville.
Eastern equine encephalitis is a rare disease that can cause inflammation of the brain. It can be deadly in humans and horses.
Hernando County has never had a human case of the disease. Symptoms in humans appear four to 10 days after the bite of an infected mosquito and include sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. Residents are urged to drain standing water and protect themselves from bites by covering up, using repellent and avoiding the outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.