First Equine West Nile Virus Case Diagnosed

The first reported equine case of West Nile Virus has been diagnosed in Colorado in a three-month-old colt. Hana Van Campen - Colorado State University Professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology says the majority of horses that become infected with the virus do not show any signs of illness. A small percentage of infected horses may have a fever, be lethargic, stop eating, twitch, have tremors, incoordination and weakness - according to Van Campen - which means the virus has reached the brain and spinal cord. If a horse becomes sick - owners should have their vet examine the horse and conduct tests to determine if the cause is West Nile. Van Campen says it's most important to vaccinate young horses against the virus - thoroughly following the directions of the vaccine manufacturers. For specific recommendations - go to the American Association of Equine Practitioners' website at www dot aaep dot org slash wnv dot htm (www.aaep.org/wnv.htm).

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