West Nile Virus confirmed in horses

OHIO — West Nile Virus was recently confirmed in two Ohio horses, according to a press release by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Both horses were not vaccinated and reside in Northwest Ohio.

West Nile is preventable in horses with proper vaccinations, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes.

Symptoms include mild anorexia and depression, according to the Department of Agriculture.

Owners should also look for flu-like symptoms and changes in mentality, drowsiness, driving or pushing forward and asymmetrical weakness. However, not all infected horses show symptoms.

The mortality rate for West Nile Virus in horses is reportedly as high as 30 to 40 percent.

While owners should vaccinate their horses, they should also reduce mosquito populations on their properties.

Remove stagnant water, use mosquito repellent and keep animals indoors during the early morning and evening, when mosquitoes are most active.