ADDISON, N.Y. — The New York State Dept of Agriculture and Markets confirmed the state’s first 2018 West Nile Virus case, according to the Equine Disease Communications Center. http://equinediseasecc.org/alerts/outbreaks

The horse, from Addison, Steuben County N.Y., a 15-year old gelding, started to show signs on Aug. 4. The owner noticed ataxia on all four limbs, generalized muscle fasciculations, decreased tail tone, but no fever. The gelding was hospitalized the following say for testing and further treatment. Blood sample results for West Nile Virus along with concurrent signs of illness confirmed active WNV infection. The horse had not been vaccinated for West Nile Virus in recent years. The horse had no recent travel history.

As of Aug. 8, the horse is recovering from infection.

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This West Nile virus is transmitted by mosquitoes or other biting insects. Birds act as reservoirs for the virus; mosquitoes and other biting insects then carry the pathogen from infected birds and transmit it to horses when they bite. A horse affected with WNV encephalitis is not contagious and poses no risk to other horses, or birds.

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