West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus or encephalomyelitis in horses is more commonly known as sleeping sickness. It has been recently been diagnosed in horses along the entire east coast of the Untied States and in some of the gulf coast areas.

This disease appears to be spreading to the west as there are cases diagnosed in the midwestern states. It is most often transmitted by mosquitoes after the insects have acquired the virus from birds and rodents.

People also are susceptible when bitten by an infected mosquito

Direct horse-to-horse or horse-to-person transmission is very rare.

Signs vary but result from infection of the brain and or spinal cord.

Early signs include



Appetite loss

Later signs include:

staggering when walking


25% to 35% of infected horses die

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