chicken serology is performed by placing chickens in an area
over an extended period of time and testing their blood for
the presence of antibodies to SLE and WEE as well as West Nile
viruses. The District maintains 4 flocks of chickens located
strategically throughout the District.
The chickens are bled once every two weeks during the months
of May through October. Blood samples are processed and tested
by the Oregon Health Department's Public Health Lab, in Portland,
Oregon. The results obtained from these laboratory tests are
used to increase inspections and control measures in areas where
viral activity is present.
It is important to note that the chickens are well cared for
at all times. Only a very small amount of blood is taken from
each chicken every other week. The chickens represent a critical
element of the District's surveillance program and help to prevent
any transmission of SLE, WEE and WNV to the human population.
Once a small amount of blood is collected, the blood is transferred
to a numbered filter paper strip. This filter paper strip is
later used for laboratory testing.
The Sentinel Chicken Surveillance program has been in place
since 1998. To date no samples have tested positive for any
mosquito borne viruses.