DOUGLAS COUNTY — West Nile Virus was discovered in a horse in Kansas. The Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health reported a horse in Douglas County has WNV.

With annual vaccinations, WNV is a preventable disease. According to KDA, the infected animal was not current with its vaccinations, but is responding favorably to treatment. The USDA reports the mortality rate for equine infected with WNV to be 35%.

WNV can infect humans, horses and birds. Horses infected with WNV can have symptoms that range from loss of appetite, fever, inability to rise and hypersensitivity to touch or sound.

The virus is carried and transmitted by mosquitoes. Wild birds serve as the host for the infected insect. The virus can only be transmitted through the mosquito. Horse owners should reduce mosquito populations and their possible breeding areas, including removing stagnant water sources and using mosquito repellents. WNV must be reported to the state veterinarian in Kansas.

As of Sept. 22, nationwide, there were thirty cases of the virus. The majority of these cases were reported in California and Florida. Louisiana reported three, and Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina and South Dakota have one case each.

In Kansas, there are only two cases of vesicular stomatitis virus. One in Linn County, and one in Sedgwick County.