2 horses test positive for West Nile Virus in Michigan - WNEM TV 5

2 horses test positive for West Nile Virus in Michigan

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State officials say two Michigan horses have tested positive for West Nile Virus in the last week.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said one of the horses, a 6-year-old Quarter Horse, was from Midland County and had to be euthanized due to severity of the disease

The second horse, a 6-year-old Standardbred, was from Mecosta County and is being treated.

Both horses were unvaccinated and began showing sudden neurological signs of the virus last week, the MDARD said. No quarantines were issued. 

West Nile is a virus most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. 

Human cases are usually seen in August and September in Michigan, but there have been no cases so far in Michigan.

To help reduce your own risk of acquiring West Nile Virus:

  • The Culex mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus often develop in container habitats around the home.   Where possible, discard or empty water from flower pots, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, scrap tires and similar sites where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
  • Use of an insect repellent containing DEET, IR3535 or picaridin, according to the manufacturer’s directions when adult mosquitoes are present. 
  • Be aware of peak mosquito hours.  The hours of dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes.  Take extra precaution by using protective clothing and insect repellent during evening and early morning hours…or consider avoiding outdoor activities at these times.
  • Wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. 
  • Keep vegetation trimmed down as much as possible around the home and make sure that doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or holes.

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