Previously, dead birds were found with the virus and those birds could have flown in from other areas. But Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District manager David Brown says the chickens are part of a special flock they place in strategic locations to monitor local mosquito activity.
"It’s important because it means the chickens previously had not had West Nile virus, they do now and it means that active transmission is occurring so it really raises the level of concern that we have and makes us want to make sure that people get the message – if you’re out when mosquitoes are active make sure you’re putting on a good mosquito repellent."
Brown says the public can help fight the spread of the virus by draining all sources of standing water that could support mosquito breeding habitats. About one in five people bitten by an infected mosquito will become ill. The elderly are most susceptible.