Reno, 08/21/2012 – The Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory confirmed that a 2 year old horse in Churchill County was positive for WNV. The horse had not been vaccinated during the previous 12 months and was euthanized.
Over 750 mosquito pools and bird samples from state wide surveillance have been submitted to the laboratory at the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Sparks Office since May of this year. All those samples tested negative for WNV, Western Equine Encephalitis Virus and Saint Louis Encephalitis Virus.
West Nile Virus was 1st detected in Nevada in 2003 and State and local agencies have maintained state wide surveillance since 2004. Peak years for WNV were 2005 and 2006. ‘Even though we are not seeing hundreds of positive samples any more it is very important to keep WNV and WEE vaccinations in horses current to prevent clinical disease and death in horses. Several vaccines with proven efficacy are available for all horses, including brood mares.’ said Dr. Phil LaRussa, Nevada’s State Veterinarian.
Tracey D. Green, MD, Nevada State Health Officer, strongly urges Nevadans to practice preventive measures. “I cannot stress enough the importance of everyone to use repellent containing DEET and wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outside, especially during dawn and dusk. Also, remove any standing water from around your house and check to make sure your window screens fit properly.”