The West Nile virus has arrived in Missouri via the horse population as a pony has just tested positive in Macon County per a new online report.

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The website Equus reports that on September 26, a pony in Macon County, Missouri tested positive for West Nile. They say this was confirmed by a veterinarian. The good news is that it appears they caught the virus in its early stages and the pony responded well to immediate treatment.

The Animal and Plant Inspection Service from the USDA has the symptoms to watch for in horses that may indicate they are infected with West Nile. The virus is transmitted to horses through infected mosquitos. Here are some symptoms they shared that may mean West Nile is present in a horse:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Lack of energy
  • Drowsiness

The say to contact a veterinarian if you see many dead birds present near where your animals are present as that may be a sign of West Nile in the area. They also warn that areas of standing water where mosquitos can hatch are also to be avoided and eliminated if possible.

The good news is that West Nile virus cannot be transmitted from horse to humans if you end up with an infected animal.

A good resource for keeping up with cases of West Nile virus in Missouri is the Department of Health and Human Services website as they document all cases of human, animal and bird events in the state.

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