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Prevent West Nile Virus in horses

Nevada surveils for virus to safeguard public health.

Farm Press Staff

May 23, 2024

1 Min Read
Sample taken from horse
A sample is taken from a horse.USDA ARS

Agriculture officials in Nevada are urging horse owners to get their animals vaccinated against West Nile virus as mosquito season approaches.

This mosquito-borne disease can cause serious illness targeting a horse’s brain, spinal cord and nervous system, the Nevada Department of Agriculture warns. The disease can also be transmitted to humans from infected mosquitos which can cause significant illness and death in both horses and humans.

“The NDA conducts testing on mosquito populations across the state to track mosquito-borne illnesses such as WNV,” said NDA Animal Disease Laboratory Manager Laura Morrow. “The NDA Animal Disease Laboratory provides reports to local health agencies to ensure protection of public health and works with Nevada producers to ensure the protection of the agriculture industry.”

Taking precautions such as using insect repellents, eliminating mosquito-breeding sites including standing water, and keeping horses vaccinated against WNV and Equine Encephalitis is strongly encouraged for all horse owners.

NDA State Veterinarian Peter Mundschenk, DVM, encourages horse owners to work with their veterinarian to develop an effective management plan, which should include vaccination of animals. Timely vaccination and decreasing possible exposure to mosquitos is an effective way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

“Minimize stagnant water around barns and homes, coupled with employing effective deterrents can help keep mosquitos away from both people and animals,” said Mundschenk.

WNV and Equine Encephalitis have not been detected in Nevada this year. WNV and Equine Encephalitis are reportable diseases in Nevada meaning that detections must be reported to the NDA. Suspected or confirmed cases of WNV should be reported to the NDA Animal Disease Lab at 775-353-3709 or [email protected].

Source: Nevada Department of Agriculture

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