BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A horse residing in Jefferson County has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus (WNV), marking Colorado’s first confirmed equine WNV case in 2020.
Vaccines in horses have proven to be a very effective prevention tool for WNV, and horses that have been vaccinated in past years do need an annual booster. If a horse has not been vaccinated in previous years, it will need the two-shot vaccination series within a three to four week period.
In addition to vaccinations, as a preventative measure horse owners should also work diligently to reduce mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas where horses are located. 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.
Any time a horse displays clinical signs consistent with neurologic disease, a complete veterinary examination is warranted. All infectious or contagious equine neurologic diseases are reportable to the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office.
A comprehensive chart of reportable animal diseases in Colorado can be found on the CDA website.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has reported 20 human cases to date in 2020. They have published data on human West Nile cases, as well as positive mosquito pools, available on the CDPHE WNV website.
— Colorado Department of Agriculture
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