Horse falls victim to West Nile Virus in Columbiana County - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Horse falls victim to West Nile Virus in Columbiana County

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LISBON, Ohio -

The Columbiana County Health Department reports that a horse in East Rochester, Columbiana County has tested positive for West Nile virus.

According to a media release from the health department, this is the 11th horse positive for the virus in Ohio this year.

Officials say the horse was an 18-year-old mare that showed acute neurologic signs on September 4, including weakness in the rear limbs and spontaneous muscle contractions.

The thoroughbred had a heart rate greater than 100 beats per minute and temperature of 103 degrees.

The symptoms became apparent at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and the horse was euthanized five hours later.

The health department says a vaccine is available for horses to protect them from the West Nile Virus.

There have been no human cases of WNV in Columbiana County.

Health officials offer the following advice to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.

  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, long pants when outdoors.
  • Wear mosquito repellents that contain EPA-registered active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, or IR3535. Children should use products that have no more than 10 percent DEET.
  • Keep window and door screens closed and in good repair to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
  • Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths.
  • Containers that fill with water should be emptied at least once a week.
  • Change the water in birdbaths every week.
  • Keep rain gutters clean.
  • Fix outdoor leaking faucets.
  • Clean ditches so water can flow.
  • Fill holes that hold water with gravel or dirt.

Consider using products containing Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), available at many garden and home improvement stores, to control mosquito larvae in containers that are too large to empty. Follow the label instructions

Most people infected with mosquito-borne viruses show no symptoms, however, people over 50 years of age and Children under the age of 16 are more likely to develop severe illness from the disease.

Symptoms to look for are body aches, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, weakness, stiffness, and convulsions. Coma and paralysis occur in some cases and the virus can be fatal.

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