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Minimizing the threat of West Nile Virus
West Nile is a virus carried by mosquitoes that feed on an infected bird. The mosquito can then
infect people, horses and many types of birds. Scientists do not believe the virus is spread from
person to person or from animal to person. Washington State Department of Agriculture
considers The West Nile Virus to be a serious threat to the state. Agency staff are working with local, state and
federal agencies to minimize the threat.
Protecting horses and other equines
The West Nile virus affects horses, mules, donkeys and other equines more often than other animals. Most horses infected with the virus do not become ill or show any symptoms at all. Those that do become ill may show signs such as loss of appetite, loss of coordination, confusion, fever, stiffness, muscle tremors, and weakness. Approximately one-third of horses that become ill will die.
Discuss with your veterinarian about the West Nile Virus vaccine. The vaccine requires two doses three to six weeks apart and immunity may not be achieved until up to six weeks after the second dose. An annual booster should be given a few weeks to a month prior to the start of the mosquito season in your area.
To minimize the threat of West Nile virus, control mosquito populations and prevent exposure to mosquitoes.
Report suspected cases of West Nile Virus in horses to:
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