State reports its 1st horse West Nile virus cases this year

BALTIC, Ohio-The state has reported Ohio’s first West Nile virus cases in horses this year.

Ohio’s Department of Health said Tuesday that two horses in Holmes County, in the Baltic area, tested positive for the virus that is transmitted through bites from infected mosquitoes. Agriculture officials say the spread of the virus in horses can be prevented with proper vaccination. They say the horses confirmed with the virus had not been vaccinated.

The animal’s prognosis was very poor and the decision to euthanize it was made.

There is no evidence that people can get the virus from a horse that has the disease.

Officials are urging horse owners to ensure their animal’s vaccine and boosters are up to date. Signs of the virus include flu-like symptoms, where the horse seems mildly anorexic and depressed.

Last month, Ohio reported its first human West Nile virus case for the year. Health officials said a 71-year-old Lake County man confirmed with the virus had to be hospitalized.