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Horse tests positive for West Nile Virus in Virginia

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Posted at 3:07 PM, Sep 11, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-12 14:30:36-04

UPDATE: The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has just learned that the Russell County horse that was diagnosed with West Nile Virus had recently moved to Virginia from another state, and may have been exposed to the virus prior to being moved to Virginia.

Russell County, Va. – A Virginia horse has tested positive for West Nile Virus, officials tell NewsChannel 3.

This is the first reported case in a horse this year.

According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the horse is from Russell County in southwest Virginia.

The horse had been vaccinated for WNV just two weeks prior to becoming ill. The horse is now being treated with supportive therapies to prevent the animal from injuring herself throughout the two to three week cycle of the disease.

Often, horses have to be euthanized because of the severity of their symptoms, which may include low-grade fever, ataxia (loss of full control of bodily movements), hypermetria (lifting its feet excessively high) and intermittent central nervous system depression.

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