Health advisory issued for mosquito-borne West Nile virus in Citrus County

Health officials in Citrus County have issued an advisory for West Nile virus, which is a mosquito-borne disease.

According to the Florida Department of Health in Citrus County, several sentinel chicken flocks have tested positive for West Nile virus, which means the risk of transmission to humans has increased.

Sentinel chickens, which are kept in several Bay Area counties, are tested regularly to give experts a heads-up if a virus is present.

Most people who get infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. About one in five people who infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

In rare cases, those infected can develop severe illnesses such as brain swelling or meningitis.

To reduce the possibility of exposure, the Department of Health encourages residents to drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying. They also recommend covering skin with clothing or repellant.

Residents are also encouraged to cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of homes.

LINK: For more information on the advisory, visit the Department of Health's website.