15/10/2020 – The RIVM (Federal Institute for Public Health and Environment) has announced the presence of the West Nile virus is the Utrecht region. In September an infected bird has been already spotted, now a human being has been infected. This is for the first time a human gets infected in the Netherlands.
Over the last decades The West Nile virus has spread worldwide, also in South-East and Central Europe and Germany. Contamination is caused by infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes get infected by feeding on infected birds en thereafter spread the virus to other birds and occasionally to humans and other mammals like horses. Recently an infected horse has been noted in Germany. The virus is not spread from human to human, human to horse or horse to horse.
The incubation period for horses varies from 3 to 15 days. For a large number of the animals the infection proceeds without (visible) symptoms. Approximately 10% of the infected animals show neurological signs. Often a slight fever, loss of appetite, lethargy and/or colic are noted. Of the animals showing neurological signs, approximately 35% dies or has to be euthanized.
The most simple way to prevent infection is to vaccinate the animal against the virus. Consult a veterinarian for additional information regarding a vaccination plan.
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