West Nile Found In Del. Sentinel Chickens, 1st Time In 2020

West Nile Virus has been detected in Delaware for the first time this year in Department of Natural Resources’ sentinel chickens.

The birds, placed in northern New Castle County, are sampled regularly. No human cases of West Nile have been reported in Delaware so far this year.

DNREC says the possibility of contracting mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis will continue until mid-October or later when cooler temperatures set in.

Sentinel chickens at 20 monitoring stations throughout the state are regularly tested.

West Nile symptoms in people may include a fever, body aches, headache, nausea, vomiting or a rash. A serious illness could result in neurological problems, paralysis or possibly be fatal.

It’s recommended that people take common-sense precautions to avoid being bitten by a mosquito such as wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors in a mosquito, prone environment.

Insect repellent can also be effective.

DNREC provided these details about resources

For mosquito biology/ecology and control, contact the Mosquito Control Section office in Dover at 302-739-9917.

For requests for mosquito relief in upstate areas from Dover north, contact Mosquito Control’s Glasgow field office at 302-836-2555.

For requests for mosquito relief in downstate areas south of Dover, contact Mosquito Control’s Milford field office at 302-422-1512.

For animal health questions, contact the Delaware% Department of Agriculture’s Poultry and Animal Health Section, at 302-698-4500.

To report suspected cases of human WNV, call the Division of Public Health Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at 888-295-5156.