Utah warns of increased number of West Nile virus cases in horses
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food warned horse owners about an increase in the number of West Nile virus cases.
A news release said owners should get their horses vaccinated.
Four horses tested positive in the last month with three animals getting euthanized.
“The West Nile virus continues to be a threat to horses in Utah,” said state veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “It is important that horse owners get their horses vaccinated annually to protect against this disease.” The four horses that tested positive for WNV were located in Duchesne and Uintah counties.
Mosquitoes spread the virus and can infect humans, birds, and horses.
UDAF said infected horses cannot transmit the virus to other horses or humans.
A news release stated, “The disease can be prevented in horses with a yearly vaccination in the spring or early summer. Horse owners can also protect their horses by removing standing water on their property where mosquitoes may breed or by using insect repellant on their horses to prevent mosquito bites.”
The virus causes fever, issues with coordination, and other neurological problems in horses.
About one-third of infected horses will die from the disease or be put down.
The Centers for Disease Control put together a map that shows where the disease has been reported.
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