Washoe Valley, Nevada, Horse Tests Positive for WNV

The 13-year-old mare developed neurologic complications and was taken to the University of California, Davis.
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A 13 year-old mare in Washoe Valley, Nevada, has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), health officials say.

The report confirms WNV presence in southern Washoe County, which includes Sparks, Reno, and Washoe Valley.

The Nevada State Laboratory reported to the Washoe County Health District that the animal had no travel prior to onset of the disease, but that the horse has developed neurologic complications and was taken to the University of California, Davis, for treatment.

West Nile is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. Clinical signs for WNV include flulike signs, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed; fine and coarse muscle and skin fasciculations (twitching); hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound); changes in mentation (mentality), when horses look like they are daydreaming or "just not with it"; occasional somnolence (drowsiness); propulsive walking (driving or pushing forward, often without control); and "spinal" signs, including asymmetrical weakness. Some horses show asymmetrical or symmetrical ataxia. Equine mortality rate can be as high as 30-40%

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