West Nile Virus in Horses

Originally posted in Digital Dale, 8/22/2018

The Ohio Department of Agriculture recently confirmed the first positive cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in Ohio horses for 2018. Two cases in Northeast Ohio have been confirmed and the animals had not been vaccinated. The spread of WNV in horses is preventable with proper vaccination and horse owners are urged to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date.

My message to horse owners is simple: vaccinate your animals and you can protect against West Nile Virus,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Tony Forshey. “Vaccines are a proven and effective prevention tool and I encourage all owners to talk to their veterinarian to learn how they can easily keep their animals healthy.”

In addition to vaccinations, horse owners should work to reduce the mosquito population and eliminate 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.

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