West Nile Virus (WNV)
Since 1998, BMCD has monitored 3 sentinel chicken sites for the presence of arboviruses, including WNV. The sentinel chickens are tested for the presence of antibodies, by the Florida Department of Health, to four specific endemic viruses known to be transmitted in the State of Florida. Each site includes 2 CDC light traps, one set at 9 meters vertically and the second at 1 meter high. Each site is equipped with 2 more traps, 1 exit coop trap to monitor species that are feeding on the sentinel chickens and a CDC Gravid trap. The Gravid trap is specific in the species of mosquitoes collected, the Culex mosquito. These species are known to harbor arboviruses and we test each collection for the presence of WNV each week. There are 10 other sites throughout the district that are equipped with Gravid traps. We test the mosquitoes from these sites once per week using an immuno-chromatographic assay to detect antigens specific for WNV.