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MELBOURNE, Fla. (AP) - Health officials in Brevard County say several sentinel chickens and a horse have tested positive for the antibodies to West Nile virus.

County spokesman Don Walker told Florida Today chickens had tested positive at four of 11 sites as of Monday.

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Walker says that while the numbers aren't cause for alarm, residents should take precautions to avoid mosquitoes.

West Nile virus can cause encephalitis which is a potentially fatal inflammation of the brain. Health officials say senior citizens and those with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable.

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