An unvaccinated horse in Franklin County has West Nile virus, the state agriculture department reported Tuesday.
The horse, from Mesa, is the first in the state to contract the virus this year, a news release said.
“The horse is showing progressive neurological signs, including rear end paralysis. It was not immediately known if the horse had traveled outside of the state recently,” the release said.
West Nile is spread through bites from infected mosquitoes.
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Most horses that contract the virus don’t become sick, but it’s fatal in about a third of cases where clinical signs are apparent, the news release said.
The best time to vaccinate or obtain boosters for horses is in the spring, the news release said.
To reduce risk, remove standing water, keep horses in their stables at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, use equine-approved repellents, put fans inside barns or stalls and avoid using incandescent bulbs in stables at night, the news release said.
Veterinarians can report potential West Nile virus cases in horses or other animals to 360-902-1881.