The Department of Agriculture announced today that a Kent County horse has tested positive for West Nile Virus.
"The horse, which is recovering well, is Delaware's first confirmed equine case of West Nile Virus since 2003," said Delaware State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst.
“Vaccination is a simple and cost-effective way of preventing these diseases, far cheaper than the cost of supportive care, as there is no treatment,” Hirst said. “Horse owners should take full precautions to keep their horses safe, and be on the alert for signs of infection.”
Unvaccinated horses are at greatest risk of developing clinical signs from both West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), which are spread by mosquitoes and can be fatal. Hirst said, “ horse owners should contact their veterinarian immediately if they suspect their horse may be showing signs of WNV or EEE. Symptoms of EEE in horses include fever (102.5-104.5°F), loss of appetite, head pressing, depression or personality change, wobbling or staggering, weakness, blindness, convulsions, muscle tremors in the head and neck, and hind-limb weakness. “
For more information: (302) 739-9917 or visit cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid.