West Nile Virus reported in Seminole County

Health officials say chickens tested positive for virus in Geneva, Black Hammock areas

GENEVA, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health said on Friday chickens in Seminole County have tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Health officials say the chickens infected with the virus are in the Geneva and Black Hammock areas.

[MORE: Information on mosquito-borne diseases]

"We work closely with mosquito control partners to increase spraying in Geneva and Black Hammock," said Dr. Swannie Jett, health officer of the Department of Health in Seminole County, in a release. "There are simple measures that citizens can take to prevent mosquitoes from breeding such as draining standing water."

Two of the infected chickens were in Geneva, the other, behind someone's home in the Black Hammock area.

The chickens are part of the county's sentinel surveillance program, which places the birds in different locations and tests them weekly for the mosquito-borne illness.

The county's public works department told Local 6 as soon as they found out about the infected chickens three weeks ago, they started nightly fogging, seven days a week for two weeks.

However, the health department claims they were waiting on state lab results to come back, before they released any information about the infected chickens. Their notice to the community was sent out Friday.

Gloria Ortega, an Oviedo mom, is concerned about all the standing water around her daughter's school and wishes she would've known about the chickens three weeks ago.

"When they found the first case they should tell the health department and it should be out to the public within hours. It shouldn't take more than that," Ortega said.

Health officials are urging everyone to drain all standing water on their property and keep swimming pools properly chlorinated. Also recommended is to wear long pants and sleeves and to use mosquito repellant when outside, officials said.

No human cases in Seminole County have been reported in 2014, according to officials.