West Nile Virus found in chickens living in Kenner

The West Nile Virus has been discovered in the chickens residing close to Kenner Veterans Park, confirmed the officials with Mosquito Control Services.

Live chickens are tested occasionally in order to know if the West Nile Virus has infected a particular region, said entomologist Steve Pavlovich of Mosquito Control.

West Nile is a mosquito transmitted disease which primarily infects birds. However, the virus can be spread across people via mosquito bites but does not spread from person to person. Around one person out of 5 West Nile infected people develops symptoms such as fever among others while around one out of 150 people develop symptoms such as swelling of the brain or the brain tissue, which in certain rare cases, can result in the person dying.

Moreover, the virus can be dangerous for young children, people who are more than 65 years and those who have a weak immune system. Even though 80% of the West Nile infected people do not report of any symptoms, the ones who experience flu-like symptoms must look for medical attention as soon as possible.

Live chickens were placed in many locations throughout Kenner by Mosquito Control in order to carry out regular tests for the West Nile Virus.

So far, 6 humans have already tested positive for the virus in Louisiana this year while no West Nile infected cases have been reported in Orleans Parish and Jefferson.

Pavlovich said that people take measures to reduce the exposure to the mosquitoes in order to protect themselves from the virus and other mosquito borne diseases. Mosquito nets should be used when one sleeps outdoors or in a structure which is unscreened. One should consider using mosquito repellent, as per the directions mentioned on it, whenever heading outdoors for extended periods. The homeowners should make sure that there is no standing areas of water near their properties as well as water fountains, plant containers and pet dishes.

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