West Nile Virus confirmed in horses

West Nile Virus confirmed in horses

Taking simple precautions can help you avoid mosquito bites and help to prevent the spread of these viruses.

Two dead ravens found in southeast B.C. have tested positive for West Nile virus, marking the first evidence of the virus in the province this year.

According to the Kalamazoo Health Department, August is peak season for West Nile but in MI there have been no human cases of the virus. So far, no human cases have been reported, no positive mosquito pools have been identified, and Canadian Blood Services has seen no positives through its screening program.

Most people who contract the virus have no symptoms, but some may become ill three to 15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Signs of the virus include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed. Like WNV, Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) can adversely affect both humans and horses - EEE is more severe than WNV, but fortunately much rarer.

Overall, the CDC said, 45 states and the District of Columbia have reported the virus in people, birds or mosquitoes this year.

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Check their property for mosquito breeding sites.

"The technicians are constantly boots on the ground they are out there checking their zones that they work in looking for standing water", Beach Mosquito Control's Cindy Mulla said. They say mosquitoes remain active even during the fall months. Empty any unused flowerpots and wading pools, and change water in birdbaths frequently.

Be sure to apply mosquito repellent to bare skin.

-Repair: Keep mosquitoes outside.

Cover up your exposed skin with long trousers and long sleeves. If an animal is suspected of having WNV or EEE, owners are required to report to DAR, Division of Animal Health by calling 617-626-1795 and to the Department of Public Health (DPH) by calling 617-983-6800. "And it's the major problem with West Nile", he added.

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