Sentinel chicken tests positive for West Nile Virus in Norfolk

Posted at 8:08 PM, Jul 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-20 20:08:02-04

Norfolk, Va.- The Norfolk Department of Public Health reports that a sentinel chicken has tested positive for West Nile Virus at its Berkley testing facility.  

The sample was collected on Monday.

Weather permitting, the NDPH Vector Control Division will begin fogging the Berkley community this weekend and will also dispatch a crew on Monday, July 23, to continue mosquito control and surveillance activities, to include storm drain treatments and backyard inspections.
NDPH says Norfolk residents, especially people over age 50, should take action to prevent and protect themselves and their families from mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus, spread to birds, humans, horses, and other mammals through the bite of infected mosquitoes.  

Most people bitten by an infected mosquito do not get sick.  People who do get sick usually suffer a mild flu-like illness and those over age 50 are at greatest risk of serious illness, such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
The Virginia Department of Health recommends the following tips to reduce exposure to mosquitoes:

– Check windows and door screens to ensure that mosquitoes can’t enter your home.
– Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.

– If possible, limit outdoor exposure between dusk and dawn.

– Use insect repellents with the smallest percentage of DEET necessary for the length of time you are exposed to mosquitoes, but no more than 50% for adults and not greater than 30% for children under 12.

– Turn over or remove containers in your yard where water collects, such as old tires, potted plant trays, buckets and toys.
– Eliminate standing water on tarps or flat roofs.

– Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week.

– Clean roof gutters and downspout screens   

For additional information on mosquito control or to report areas of potential mosquito breeding, call the Vector Control Division at (757) 683-2840, week days from 7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.