West Nile Virus Detected in Clare County Horse

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has confirmed a case of West Nile virus in a horse in Clare County.

State Veterinarian Nora Wineland says in a statement the virus was found in a five year old Standard bred mare, making it the second positive case in a domestic animal in Michigan this year. Wineland says the animal was not vaccinated against the disease, saying it highlights the importance of protecting animals and livestock from mosquito borne illnesses.

Health officials say West Nile and other mosquito transmitted diseases typically occur in late summer and and early fall each year in the state, with the insects remaining active until at least one hard freeze with temps falling below 28 degrees. While humans, horses and birds are the ones normally infected with West Nile, it can be passed to other animals as well, though health officials say it is not spread by horse to horse or horse to human contact.

For more information on how to protect yourself and your animals, visit michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.