Horses Diagnosed

The state Department of Agriculture has reported this summer's first two cases of mosquito-borne viruses in horses.

Spokeswoman Elaine Lidholm with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Wednesday that a horse in Suffolk was confirmed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis last month and was euthanized on June 26th because of the illness.

Lidholm says a horse in Rockingham County was diagnosed with West Nile virus on June 23rd, but that horse has recovered.

She says there were no equine cases of Triple E in Virginia last year and only one case of West Nile. Officials expect to see their first cases in late July to mid-August. But the numbers appear to be dropping in recent years.

The number of West Nile Virus cases in Virginia in 2003 was 140 and there were seven cases of Triple E in horses and one in an emu.

Lidholm says the state veterinarian urges horse owners to vaccinate all horses against the diseases every six to 12 months.


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