West Nile virus confirmed in Kansas horse


MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Animal health officials confirmed a case of West Nile virus Friday in a Shawnee County horse.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health said the case was detected in a horse that was not vaccinated against the virus.

“West Nile virus is a preventable disease, and we know that annual vaccinations have proven highly effective for horses,” said Kansas Animal Health Commissioner Justin Smith. “We strongly encourage all horse owners to consult with your local veterinarian and make a vaccination plan for your horses.”

West Nile virus is transmitted through mosquitoes. The KDADAH said it can infect horses, humans, birds and other species, but isn’t directly contagious from one horse to another, or from a horse to a human. Symptoms can include depression, loss of appetite, fever, loss of coordination and hypersensitivity to touch or sound. The virus can also kill horses.

KDADAH encouraged locals to check for stagnant water and to use mosquito repellent to reduce mosquito breeding areas and prevent West Nile infections.

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