2 Pinellas chickens test positive for encephalitis

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Health officials are asking residents to use mosquito repellent and to eliminate standing water around their homes after two sentinel chickens tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis.

The Pinellas County Mosquito Control issued an advisory Thursday. They’re treated known mosquito breeding areas by ground and by air and responding to requests from residents.

The Tampa Bay Times reports the chickens were housed in an unincorporated Seminole area.

St. Louis encephalitis differs from chikungunya, which is also transmitted by mosquitoes. There have been three confirmed cases of chikungunya this year in Pinellas County. All of those cases were contracted by people who had visited the Caribbean.

Symptoms of St. Louis encephalitis include fever, headache, dizziness, nausea and malaise. Some patients develop central nervous system infections.