MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — Sentinel chickens used by the Mobile County Health Department to test for mosquito-borne diseases have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to a news release.

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One of the coops where the chickens tested positive for the virus is located in the 36582 zip code and the other is in the 36528 zip code, according to the health department.

Humans that catch the virus, or any mosquito-borne disease, may experience symptoms including high fever, severe headaches, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis, disorientation and seizures.

The health department’s Vector Services will conduct door-to-door surveys and increase spraying in the areas where the virus was found.

In the meantime, health department officials shared these suggestions:

  • use an Environmental Protection Agency-registered mosquito repellant with DEET
  • wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • stay and sleep in places with air conditioning or window and door screens
  • remove standing water around your home

The virus is transmitted from birds to mosquitos back to birds during the transmission cycle. Mosquitos can spread the virus by taking the blood of an infected animal and putting it into another host, like a human.