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Horses Across the Country Are Testing Positive for West Nile Virus

Horses have tested positive for West Nile Virus across the country, and some state officials are recommending vaccinations even now for horses that have not yet been vaccinated. California, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, and Utah have reported recent cases, and the mosquito season has several weeks to go in many of these areas.

Infected horses exhibit neurological symptoms such as stumbling gait, facial paralysis, drooping or disinterested attitude. Although no drugs exist to treat the disease either in horses or humans, there are live-animal tests for WNV in horses.

The virus lives in wild birds of many species, and is transmitted to mammals by the bite of a mosquito that has previously bitten an infected bird. Check with your veterinarian for his/her recommendation if your horse has not been vaccinated this year.

For more information about West Nile Virus, click here.

Posted September 13, 2011