Chickens near Kenner Veterans Park have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to officials with Mosquito Control Services.
Occasionally live chickens are tested to determine if West Nile is present in a particular area, said Steve Pavlovich, an entomologist for Mosquito Control, the contractor for Jefferson Parish.
West Nile is a mosquito-transmitted pathogen that primarily infects birds. However, infected mosquitoes can occasionally bite humans and spread the virus. The virus can be dangerous especially for people over the age of 65, young children, and the immunocompromised. Although 80 percent of infected people don't report symptoms, those who do show flu-like symptoms and should seek medical attention immediately.
Mosquito Control placed live chickens in several locations throughout Kenner to perform regular testing for West Nile.
Six human cases of West Nile have been reported so far this year in Louisiana. So far there have been none reported in Jefferson and Orleans Parish.
Pavlovich said that people should protect themselves from mosquitoes especially at dusk and dawn. Homeowners should check their properties for any standing areas of water, including birdbaths, pet dishes, plant containers and water fountains.
Information provided by: NOLA.com