The horse in Princeton, in the South Okanagan in BC, has a positive feel for the West Nile virus.
The Cascade Veterinary Clinic, managed by Dr Ryan Ridway and Dr Lynn Smart, shared the information in a social media post, along with a warning to horse owners to vaccinate their animals.
"For luck, [the horse] was vaccinated so it was not fatal. Had he not been vaccinated, he probably would not have survived or if he had had serious neurological problems.
"This is spread by mosquitoes and all horses are at risk of infection … this is often a fatal disease," the post reads.
Neither Ridway nor Smart were available for comment.
When contacting Black Press, an interior ministry spokesman said authorities were unaware of the report, but there was no threat to public safety.
"We have no human cases," said Tim Conrad.
The West Nile virus is a disease that can spread from infected birds (crows, ravens, spells and jams) to humans through mosquito bites.
Additional information provided by IH says that the risk of serious West Nile virus infection is low for most people; however, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk.
West Nile virus first discovered in BC in South Okanagan in the summer of 2009. There have been five human cases since then – all locally acquired in Okanagan. Last year the virus was detected in birds and horses in the area of Eastern Kotanj, confirming that the virus is present there as well. Several parts of Canada and the United States continue to report on current activity of the West Nile virus.
According to provincial government information website healthlink.bc, the West Nile Virus infection can be so mild that people don't even know they have it. But in rare cases, the West Nile leads to a severe disease that affects the brain or spinal cord.
About 80 out of 100 people who have West Nile have no symptoms. When symptoms occur, they begin two to 15 days after a mosquito bite.
Mild symptoms may include:
- Feeling very tired and less hungry than usual.
- Body aches.
- Rash, usually on the chest and swollen glands (lymph nodes).
Most people with mild form of West Nile have fever for five days, have a headache for 10 days and feel tired for more than a month.
The West Nile causes serious illness in about one in 150 people who contract it. It can lead to swelling of the brain (encephalitis), spinal cord (myelitis) or tissues around the brain and & # 39; spinal cord (meningitis).
Any activity that prevents mosquito bites or breeding can help reduce the risk of being infected with the West Nile virus, the IH said in a statement recommending the following safeguards:
- Prevent mosquito breeding around your home. It does not take much time or water for the adult mosquito to hatch. Anything that can hold water can be an area for mosquito breeding. Identify and remove potential areas for breeding your property – empty pots; changing water in bird baths twice a week; unlocked rain gutters; drain tarps, tires and other debris where rainwater can be collected; and, install a pump in ornamental ponds or save them with fish. Stagnant pools in the yard can be a great source of mosquitoes and should be maintained regularly to prevent mosquito growth.
- Install the windows screens. The screens will help prevent mosquitoes from coming into the house.
- Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn. This is the time of day mosquitoes that can carry the virus are the most active.
- Wear protective clothing. If you are in an area with a lot of mosquitoes, wear loose fitting, light colored, full length pants and long sleeve shirt.
- Use a mosquito repellent. Apply mosquito repellent in areas with exposed skin. Check the product label for instructions on proper use. Repellents containing DEET are safe for those over six months of age when used as directed on the label.
It is also recommended that although the risk of infection from bird handling is very low; however, you should not use your bare hands to control wild birds (dead or alive). If you need to move a dead bird, precautions should be taken. Unusual dead bird clusters may be reported in the BC wildlife mortality investigation. at 1-866-431-BIRD (2473).