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West Nile virus confirmed in unvaccinated horse in Shawnee County

2 cases of West Nile reported in Johnson County
Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-03 17:06:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An unvaccinated horse in Shawnee County has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health announced the case Friday afternoon.

Justin Smith, Kansas Animal Health commissioner, said in a news release that West Nile virus is preventable and vaccinations “have proven highly effective.”

“Unfortunately, the infected animal had not been vaccinated for this virus,” Smith said in the release. “We strongly encourage all horse owners to consult with your local veterinarian and make a vaccination plan for your horses.”

The virus can infect humans, horses and birds, among other species. Infected horses, according to the release, can present with the following symptoms: depression, loss of appetite, fever and “severe neurological signs.”

West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos, can be fatal for horses, the release stated.