West Nile Virus Update 9/28/2018

As of 9/28/2018 there have been 14 confirmed cases and 3 probable cases of West Nile Virus in horses in Holmes County. Most of the cases are in the North and East regions of the county.

Please note that you CANNOT get West Nile Virus from an infected horse or an infected person, but you CAN get it from an infected mosquito. We therefore advise you to take precautions to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes.  The best way to avoid mosquito-borne disease is to prevent mosquito bites from happening.

To Protect yourself and others from West Nile Virus:

• Use EPA- registered insect repellents when outdoors
• When weather permits, wear long sleeves, pants, and socks when outdoors
• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside
• Reduce mosquito breeding around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, scrap tires, birdbaths, and pool covers

To protect your horses from West Nile Virus:

• Talk to your vet about vaccination – it is the best way to protect your horse from getting WNV
• House horses indoors at dusk and dawn
• Avoid turning on lights inside stables at night as mosquitoes are attracted to light
• Remove birds, including chickens, that are close to the stable
• Eliminate areas of standing water
• Topical preparations that contain mosquito repellent are available for horses. Be sure to read the label before use
• Use fans on the horses while in the stable to deter mosquitoes

Horses are especially prone to severe West Nile Virus infections; however it is important to remember that people cannot get West Nile from another person or horse that has the disease.  

If you have any questions regarding mosquito-borne diseases, please contact the Holmes County Health Department at 330-674-5035 or info@holmeshealth.org