Weeki Wachee, Florida -- Hernando County health officials say one of the county's sentinel chickens has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE).
The chicken that tested positive is located off Zebrafinch Avenue in the northwest corner of the county which means mosquitoes carrying the virus are present in the area.
EEE is a rare disease that is spread by infected mosquitoes and can cause inflammation of the brain and is very serious to humans. Symptoms appear 4-10 days after the bite and include the onset of
headache, high fever, chills and vomiting.
Officials say no human cases have been reported in the county but anyone in the area can get infected and should take the necessary precautions.
Mosquito Control staff is stepping up inspections and treatment in the northwestern part of the county, but all county residents are reminded to be vigilant about mosquito bite prevention.