West Nile Infection Increasing Among Horses

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, October 4, 2004
West Nile Virus is already taking a heavy toll on horses in the state this year. Four hundred and nineteen horses contracted the disease. Of those, 178 have died. Many horses that survived ended up incapacitated by neurological problems. Doctor Gregory Ferraro, Director of the UC Davis Center for Equine Health, says the infection rate among mosquitoes next year is expected to be high. That poses a grave danger for horses because they have a much higher likelihood than humans of dying from a West Nile infection. FERRARO :12—When the mosquitoes hatch out next year, there should be a significant percentage of them that are infected, which means next year could conceivably be worse for the disease than this year in California.  Ferraro says it’s inexcusable for horses to contract West Nile Virus because there are ways owners can easily prevent infection. While there’s no vaccine for humans, there are THREE for horses. Ferraro says very few vaccinated horses contract West Nile. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.