First case of Equine West Nile Virus confirmed in Mesa County
State vet says the West Nile Virus has been confirmed in a horse
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -The Colorado State Veterinarian says there are currently 21 cases of equine West Nile Virus statewide, with the first case in Mesa County of the season now confirmed.
Additional horses in Adams, Boulder, Douglas, Elbert, Fremont, Larimer, Morgan, Otero and Weld counties all have confirmed of equine WNV as well. Of these 21 horses, five have died or been euthanized. Veterinarians say the vaccine for WNV is an effective way to protect horses from the virus.
“The West Nile Virus vaccine has proven to be safe and effective in preventing disease. Horse owners should work with their veterinarians to determine the most appropriate vaccination schedule for their horses. It is important to note WNV is a core vaccine recommended by the American Association of Equine Practitioners,” said Colorado State Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Baldwin.
Officials say horses need an annual booster shot to protect them from WNV. If a horse hasn’t been vaccinated in previous years, the horse will need a two-shot vaccination series.
In addition to vaccines, the state vet recommends horse owners do their part to reduce the mosquito population and possible breeding areas where horses are located.
Much like humans, vets recommend removing stagnant water sources from property, use mosquito repellant and keep the horses indoors, during the peak feeding hours for the mosquitoes, which are typically, early in the morning and evening.
In clinical cases, horses can experience symptoms such as anorexia, depression and some neurological signs, such as ataxia, weakness or paralysis in one or more limb, teeth grinding, wandering around aimlessly, convulsions or circling.
For more information about vaccines for horses visit: https://aaep.org/guidelines/vaccination-guidelines/core-vaccination-guidelines
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