West Umatilla Mosquito Control District
DISEASE SURVEILLANCE: SENTINEL CHICKENS

chicken serologySentinel 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.

chicken flock

West Umatilla Mosquito Control District

Dedicated to the Protection of Public Health Through the Reduction of Public Health Vectors