Horse tests positive for West Nile Virus in Virginia

A 10-year-old Saddlebred gelding from Wythe County died of West Nile Virus after it tested positive June 29. 

This is the first case of West Nile Virus in Virginia since August 2015, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 

The horse hadn't been vaccinated for the mosquito-borne virus, the release stated, and horse owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals. The vaccine for horses usually consists of two doses given between three and six weeks apart, the release stated. They can also prevent the virus by using insect repellents and taking animals away from mosquito-infested areas between dusk and dawn. 

The horse was euthanized because of its symptoms, which included an inability to stand up and control bodily movements, a news release stated. 

There aren't any drugs that treat the virus for horses or humans, and the mortality rate for horses is about 30 percent, the release said. 


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