SLO County horse tests positive for West Nile Virus
September 19, 2014
For the first time in 2014, a horse in San Luis Obispo County has tested positive for the West Nile Virus, according to the county health department.
This year, mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus at the highest recorded rate in California history. No human or bird cases of the virus has been reported, though, in the county.
The horse that tested positive was located in the North County.
“This case of West Nile Virus in a horse reminds us that WNV is present in our county, and it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites,” said County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “Infected mosquitoes can spread this virus to humans, horses and birds, and the best way to prevent the infection is to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds near your house and avoid getting bitten.”
The health department recommends that individuals prevent exposure to the virus by wearing protective clothing, repairing broken window screens and ridding standing water near homes. Specific insect repellants also act as deterrents of the virus.
A vaccine that prevents the virus in horses is likewise available.