First case of West Nile Virus confirmed for horse in Larimer County | MyWindsorNow.com

First case of West Nile Virus confirmed for horse in Larimer County

Katarina Velazquez
kvelazquez@greeleytribune.com

A horse in Larimer County was diagnosed with West Nile virus on Aug. 2, marking Colorado's first confirmed case of West Nile in a horse this year, according to a news release from the Colorado Department of Agriculture. The case was diagnosed by Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fort Collins.

Infected horses may display symptoms including head tilt, muscle tremors, stumbling, lack of coordination, weakness of the limbs or partial paralysis, the release said.

Here are some tips for horse owners to avoid the virus, according to the release:

» Horses that have been vaccinated in past years need their annual booster shots. If owners haven't vaccinated their animal in previous years, their horses need a two-shot vaccination series within a three to four week period.

» Horse owners need to reduce mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas. Recommendations include removing stagnant water sources, keeping animals inside during the bugs' feeding times, which are typically early in the morning and evening, and using mosquito repellents.

The transmission of the disease varies from year to year and depends on a number of factors, including mosquito numbers, the release said. West Nile can be carried by infected birds and then spread locally by mosquitoes that bite those birds. The mosquitoes can then pass the virus to humans and animals.

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