The Odessa Record -

Lincoln County horse tests positive for West Nile virus


August 24, 2017

Lincoln County, WA – For the third year in a row, a horse has tested positive for West Nile virus in Lincoln County, reminding us that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are present. “Although we have not had any human cases, we know West Nile virus is in our communities,” said Public Health Administrator Ed Dzedzy. West Nile virus activity has also been identified in horses and mosquitoes in neighboring counties this year.

Most people who are infected with West Nile virus will not get sick. About one in five people infected will have mild symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches. Even fewer, about one in 150 people infected, will have more severe symptoms. Severe symptoms may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and coma. According to Dr. Ralph Monteagudo, Lincoln County Health Officer, “There is no vaccine for humans, so prevention is the best strategy.”

Avoid Mosquito Bites:

• Use insect repellents when you go outdoors - repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon, eucalyptus or 2-undecanone. These active ingredients typically offer long-lasting protection against mosquito bites. Repellents come in lotions, creams, gels, sprays and towelettes.

• Avoid outdoor activities during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

• Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin fabric, so spraying clothes with repellent will give extra protection.

• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

• Reduce mosquito habitat around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths on a regular basis.

There is a vaccine available for horses. Horses, mules and donkeys are particularly susceptible. One in three horses that become infected will die, according to the Washington State Department of Health. If you have questions about West Nile virus protection for your horse, contact your veterinarian.

Additional information on West Nile virus disease is available at the Washington State Department of Health website:


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