Michigan Horse and Turkeys West Nile Virus Positive
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2014
CONTACT: Bridget Patrick
(517) 284-5661 or firstname.lastname@example.org
LANSING, MI - The Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and Community Health (MDCH) today announced an eight-year-old horse from Grand Traverse County was positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) and euthanized after failing to respond to treatment and supportive care.
The gelding had not received an annual vaccination against West Nile Virus. The other horses at the premises have since been vaccinated against the disease. MDARD was also recently notified a small turkey flock in Ingham County was affected by WNV with high death losses due to the disease.
"The virus has affected poultry in the past," said State Veterinarian James Averill, "and both of these unfortunate losses stand as reminders that we should all be diligent about vaccinating our horses, using mosquito repellent, keeping water troughs fresh and clean, and emptying any containers of water not intended for animal use."
"Anytime we find West Nile Virus in animals, this serves as an opportunity to remind people that they also need to take precautions to protect themselves from mosquito bites," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive of the MDCH. "While we have not had a positive human case so far this season, we do know that it is circulating in the environment so residents should take precautions to protect themselves and their families."
In addition to vaccinating horses against WNV, the following mosquito control measures should be utilized:
Use insect repellents, following label directions
Additionally, consider control of mosquitoes in ponds and large water containers through the use of larvacides and fish.
To read more about diagnosis and prevention tips regarding WNV in horses visit: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/MDA_WNVHorses_8938_7.pdf
For information about WNV in people, visit www.michigan.gov/westnilevirus.
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