Chicken in Del. has eastern equine encephalitis

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Health and environmental officials in Delaware say a sentinel chicken has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis. This is the first such finding since 2008.

The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental control said Friday that the Delaware Public Health Laboratory has confirmed the presence of the virus, which occurred within a statewide network of 24 sentinel chicken stations.

The chicken was sampled at a monitoring station near Frankford in Sussex County. Environmental officials have taken additional mosquito control actions.

Transmission of EEE to humans is often linked to saltmarsh mosquitoes or closely-related freshwater wetland species. The last recorded case of EEE in humans in Delaware was in 1979.

There are no approved EEE vaccines for humans. Effective EEE vaccines are available for horses through veterinarians.

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