Do you think West Nile virus (WNV) has run its course in the United States? Then you need to watch the "WNV Reality Check!" on TheHorse.com on Thursday, July 30, at 8 p.m., sponsored by Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health. You can sign up now!
According to the Centers for Disease Control, last year there were 687 human cases of West Nile virus in the United States, resulting in 44 deaths. California alone accounted for 292 of the human cases and 15 deaths. It's easier to say New Hampshire and Vermont were the only states without reported cases in humans, animals, or insects last year.
Of 507 reported cases of WNV disease among nonhuman mammals in 2007, 471 (93%) occurred in equines. Statistically about 40% of horses that get WNV die from the disease or its complications.
Thus far in 2009 there have been reported cases in humans, animals, birds, or mosquitoes in California, Indiana, Louisiana, and South Carolina.
There also is new evidence from research released in June of 2009 that lineage 2 WNV in South Africa can cause neurologic disease in horses (read more from the CDC). This strain was previously thought to only affect humans and mice.
In order to bring you the most up-to-date information about West Nile virus, TheHorse.com and sponsor Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health will host the Webinar "WNV Reality Check!" on Thursday, July 30, at 8 p.m.
You can sign up for this FREE Webinar at TheHorse.com/Webinars. Your registration allows you to watch the video presentation and ask questions live during the presentation, or you can submit your questions via e-mail prior to the Webinar to be answered during the live event.
This free Webinar on "WNV Reality Check!" is presented by Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky. Reed, formerly of The Ohio State University, has a long career of experience with neurologic diseases. Because of that, he was honored last year at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention as the keynote presenter of the prestigious Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture. His topic was Equine Neurology, including rabies and West Nile virus.
More About West Nile Virus
West Nile virus (WNV) causes a potentially fatal encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord) in a variety of mammals such as birds, horses, and humans. While long recognized in Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, and elsewhere, WNV was first diagnosed in North America in 1999. Since then the disease has spread rapidly throughout the continent.
WNV is maintained in the wild bird population and is spread between birds by biting mosquitoes. Humans and horses become infected after being bitten by mosquitoes infected with the WNV that have fed on infected birds. The virus enters the horse's bloodstream and spreads to the spinal cord and brain causing a wide-spread inflammation. Clinical signs of disease typically present within three to 15 days of the animal being bitten by an infected mosquito. Only mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds can spread the virus.
Horses and humans are considered to be dead-end hosts of the West Nile virus and, therefore, do not contribute to the transmission cycle. The virus is not directly contagious from horse to horse or horse to human. Similarly, indirect transmission via mosquitoes from infected horses is highly unlikely because horses do not experience a significant viremia (i.e., they have negligible amounts of virus circulating in their blood).
Mechanical transmission of the virus, such as through a blood transfusion, is possible.
Sign Up Now For The FREE Webinar
For more information on "WNV Reality Check!" and to learn how to protect your horses from this disease, sign up now.
Any questions about the Webinar can be directed to THWebinars@TheHorse.com.
- 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM; 512 MB recommended.
- Broadband Internet connection or access to a high-speed network highly recommended.
- Speakers/headphones on your computer to hear the audio.
- Flash Player 8 or higher.
More requirements can be found at TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=8419#V4.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.