While we are all enjoying the rain in Las Vegas and the prospects of a beautiful spring in the desert another aspect of the season looms. According to the Nevada State Health Division, mosquito season in Las Vegas is from April through October.
Birds carrying the West Nile Virus (WNV) are bitten by mosquitoes that transfer the virus to horses, other birds and other mammals including humans. WNV is not transferred from horse to horse, or horse to human, or human to human.
West Nile Virus was first found in Nevada in 2004, and has since been reported in all counties. Symptoms of horses that have contracted the virus are: elevated temperature, listlessness, apathy, weakness, poor coordination, partial or full paralysis, nervousness, lethargy or drowsiness, and seizures. It has been reported that several horses are infected with virus yet few, if any show symptoms.
Horse owners should take steps to reducing mosquitoes and protect their horse and themselves from being bitten. The WNV vaccine may be administered to horses once or several times per season. Discuss the appropriate schedule and vaccine options with your local Las Vegas veterinarian.
Here is a link to the Nevada State Health Division website for more information. http://health.nv.gov/WestNileVirus.htm
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