Chicken tests for encephalitis in Pinellas County

St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP) — Health officials in Pinellas County say a "sentinel chicken" has tested positive for mosquito-borne Eastern equine encephalitis.

The test was confirmed this week in one of the chickens kept at Sawgrass Lake Park to warn officials when there are mosquitoes carrying diseases.

The Tampa Bay Times (http://bit.ly/1acG1H1 ) reports recent rain has caused an increased in the county's mosquito population.

Health officials advise residents to empty standing water from any containers in their yards.

The disease is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While it's rare in humans, the virus can cause headaches, fever, chills and vomiting.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.

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