According to a statement from the Orange County Florida Department of Health, several sentinel chickens have tested positive for the Eastern equine encephalitis virus; they had antibodies to fight the disease in their system. This a major health concern as the virus is known for sometimes causing a fatal brain infection and swelling. Although the infected chickens were in Orange County, it does not mean the disease is isolated to Orange County.
Because sentinel chickens are used for research in disease prevention, they are tested regularly for West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis. These chickens can be found across the state and closely monitored.
The primary carrier of encephalitis is the black-tailed mosquito, which is usually most commonly found near swamplands during the hot and damp summer. However, this does not rule other times of the year. Its peak biting time is a few hours before sunset.
What are the symptoms of encephalitis?
The symptoms include fever, disorientation, and vomiting. They usually appear between 4 to 20 days after being bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito. It is estimated that 30% of those infected with Eastern equine encephalitis will die from the illness.
If you are concerned about mosquitoes on your property, take a look around your yard and make sure there is nowhere for standing water to collect as these areas quickly become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Minimizing trash and yard debris also helps keep mosquitoes at bay. Should you feel you need to take a more proactive step, contact Hulett to discuss our mosquito reduction programs.
Just call Hulett!