Sentinel chicken tests positive for West Nile virus in St. Pete

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, an Aedes aegypti mosquito known to carry the Zika virus, is photographed through a microscope at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Zika virus ravages the testes of male mice, sharply reducing sperm counts and fertility, said a study that raises a new specter about its threat to people. The mouse results appear in a paper released Monday, Oct. 31, by the journal Nature. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File)

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A sentinel chicken tested positive for the West Nile Virus in St. Pete on Wednesday, according to Pinellas County Mosquito Control.

The chicken was kept in the Cross Bayou area of the city, one of eight locations where chickens are kept and blood tested weekly.

Through weekly tests, Mosquito Control can predict when and where West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes are located.

Once the virus is detected, treatments are applied to target mosquitoes and larvae by ground and by air.

In order to protect yourself from the virus, Mosquito Control advises citizens to stay indoors during the peak hours of mosquito activity at dawn and dusk when possible, use approved mosquito repellants, and ensure screens and seals are intact around windows and doors.

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