The Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) confirmed a case of the West Nile Virus (WNV) in a sentinel chicken.

Sentinel chickens are used in coops to help detect mosquito-transmitted viruses, and their blood is tested weekly.

Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Kevin P. Michaels said the coop where the virus was detected is in the 36541 zip code. The MCHD’s Vector Services is investigating and will increase spraying.

Humans can catch WNV if they are bitten by a mosquito that has gotten the virus from a bird it fed on previously. The virus does not typically go from human to human.

Symptoms of WNV include high fever, severe headache, nausea, stiff neck, confusion, muscle weakness, paralysis, disorientation, and seizures that are severe enough to require medical attention.

You can lessen the chances of contracting a mosquito-transmitted virus by using bug repellent, covering your skin, staying indoors when possible and removing any standing water around your home. There is no vaccine for WNV.

To report an issue with mosquitoes, call Vector Services at 251-690-8124.

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