Not all heroes wear capes — some sport feathers

Not all heroes wear capes — some sport feathers

The Galveston County Daily News, October 20, 2021

Chickens are useful for monitoring West Nile Virus and St. Louis encephalitis because they don’t get sick from those viruses. A bird bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus will develop antibodies but won’t get sick, said Dr. Scott Weaver, the director of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity at UTMB. “It’s probably the best way to know if a virus like West Nile is circulating in the area,” Weaver said. “With a sentinel chicken, you’re kind of sampling a lot of mosquitoes with one chicken. If that chicken is sitting in its coop getting bit by dozens of mosquitoes a day, you end up with the equivalent of sampling thousands of mosquitoes with one bird.”