West Nile Virus News & Updates

Knowledge is the best defense. The following websites can provide the latest information regarding West Nile Virus for both you and your horse. If you have questions, call the phone numbers listed on each website or contact your local vet. Can you suggest additional WNV resources to add to this list? Please let us know at bayequest@gmail.com.

Recent West Nile Virus News:

June 01, 2005 11:15 AM - CDFA Press Release

FIRST CONFIRMED EQUINE CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS FOR 2005 - Earlier start of season compared to 2004

SACRAMENTO - The first positive equine case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in California in 2005 has been reported in Plumas County. The horse, which is recovering, is a 3-year-old quarter horse mare. The case was confirmed about a month earlier than the first case of 2004.

WNV is a mosquito-borne virus that was first detected in the United States in 1999 in the New York City area. It may cause a wide range of clinical illnesses from mild, "flu-like" symptoms to encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) that may be fatal to both humans and horses. While horses are susceptible to WNV, many horses infected with the disease will not develop any illness and will recover uneventfully. Currently, there is no specific treatment for WNV.

California became the focus for West Nile Virus in 2004 with 540 confirmed clinical equine cases. Over 40 percent of clinically affected horses died or were euthanized. In 2004, WNV was detected in all California counties.

The Centers for Disease Control has predicted that California will again be the epicenter for WNV in 2005.

Signs of West Nile Virus in horses include stumbling, staggering, loss of coordination, muscle twitching, circling, and inability to stand. Birds serve as the primary reservoir for harboring the disease. Mosquitoes transmit the disease to humans and horses after feeding on infected birds.

Once infected, horses do not spread the disease to other humans or horses.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is urging horse owners to consult their veterinarian to ensure each horse is current on West Nile

Virus vaccinations. It is also important to practice mosquito control methods to aid in reducing mosquito-breeding sites.

For more information on West Nile Virus in horses, call the Equine West Nile information line 1-800-268-7378 or email WNVirus@cdfa.ca.gov or visit http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/ah/wnv_info.htm.

Contact: CDFA Public Affairs at 916/654-0462
For additional information on the California Department of Food and Agriculture please visit our website at www.cdfa.ca.gov

AHP Newsgroup Press Release, January 11 2005 Contact: Sally J. Baker, APR
sbaker@aaep.org or 859.233.0147

West Nile Virus Vaccination Recommendations Released by the AAEP

The Vaccinations Task Force of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has released recommendations for the administration of the West Nile virus vaccine. Recommendations for the vaccine's use are based on the age, type and level of activity of the horse. The new West Nile virus guidelines are a supplement to the AAEP's "Guidelines for Vaccination of Horses" that was released in 2001. The guidelines are intended to serve as a reference for veterinarians as they employ vaccines in their respective

To view the recommendations online, please visit: http://www.aaep.org/pdfs/AAEP_WNV_Guidelines_2005.pdf. The Task Force,
co-chaired by Robert Holland, DVM, and Gordon Brumbaugh, DVM, comprised researchers, vaccine manufacturers and private practitioners. A copy of the resource guide "Guidelines for Vaccination of Horses" can be obtained by contacting the AAEP office at 859.233.0147 or aaepoffice@aaep.org. The cost of the guide is $3 for AAEP members and $7 for non-members.

The Task Force stresses that each individual vaccination situation must be evaluated based on the risk of disease, potential for adverse reactions to a vaccine, anticipated efficacy of the selected product and cost. Veterinarians, through an appropriate veterinarian-client-patient relationship, should use the guidelines coupled with available products to determine the best professional care for their patients.

The American Association of Equine Practitioners, headquartered in Lexington, Ky., is the world's largest professional association of equine veterinarians. Founded in 1954 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the health and welfare of the horse, the AAEP currently reaches more than 5 million horse owners through its over 8,000 members worldwide and is actively involved in ethics issues, practice management, research and continuing education in the equine veterinary profession and horse industry.

Note: The vaccination guidelines may be reprinted with permission granted by the AAEP.

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