Horse in Reno County, KS diagnosed with West Nile virus - KCTV5 News

Horse in Reno County, KS diagnosed with West Nile virus

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File photo. (KCTV5) File photo. (KCTV5)

For the first time this year, there has been a reported equine case of West Nile virus in Kansas.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health was notified this month that a horse in Reno County tested positive for West Nile.

The horse was euthanized due to the severity of the illness.

This is the first reported equine case of West Nile in Kansas in 2017.

Horse owners are encouraged to vaccinate their horses to prevent the spread of the virus.

West Nile virus is the most common mosquito-borne disease in Kansas and in the United States. It causes severe neurological disease in horses. Birds and humans are also susceptible to the virus. However, other livestock and pet animals are not susceptible to it.

Clinical signs in horses can include fever, incoordination, generalized weakness, drooping lips, teeth grinding and inability to rise.

There is no specific treatment for the virus, but there are several effective vaccines available for use on horses.

Horses that have been vaccinated in past years will need an annual booster shot.

In addition to vaccinations, horse owners also need to reduce the mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas.

For more information about West Nile virus or other animal disease issues in the state, click here

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