The Bureau of Public Health Laboratories notified Sumter County this week of the confirmation that two sentinel chickens had antibodies to arboviruses; one for West Nile virus and the other for St. Louis Encephalitis virus.
The positive samples were collected on Sept. 6 and 12 from sentinel chickens located at the former Fire Station in Center Hill.
Mosquito Control was first notified on Sept. 16 of the potential positive result but still required confirmation. Mosquito Control activated its disease response plan and sprayed the area three consecutive nights and implemented enhanced surveillance and larvicide activities. Informative flyers were distributed to notify citizens of an increase in potential transmission of arbovirus. Mosquito Control will maintain these enhanced mosquito abatement efforts over the next couple of weeks to keep the vector mosquito population low.
Residents in the area were informed that there is a heightened potential for encephalitis infection in their neighborhood and that personal protection and yard sanitation is recommended.
Mosquito Control sampled the adult mosquito population in a five-city block area radiating from the epicenter. Collected samples on Tuesday were sent for testing and found to be negative for a virus.
During the evening hours, truck mounted sprayers were assigned to spray this area to reduce/maintain the vector population below the critical level. Three consecutive spray applications were made on nights of Sept. 17, 18 and 19.
Mosquito Control will continue increased surveillance and testing for the next couple of weeks.