First '05 equine case of West Nile confirmed in Silver Springs

State health officials on Monday announced the second Northern Nevada West Nile virus case in a week.

Nevada Department of Agriculture officials confirmed a quarter horse in Silver Springs was infected with the disease.

The horse was the first equine and a dead crow found near Yerington early last week was the first bird in Nevada to test positive, although several sets of mosquitoes gathered from around the state are carrying the virus.

"The bottom line is, West Nile virus is in Nevada," State Health Officer Dr. Bradford Lee said in a statement issued Monday.

Although the virus took a fairly light toll on humans in Nevada last year, it wasn't nearly so easy on horses.

More than 130 horses, six in Carson City, were confirmed with the virus last year and 50 died. Late in the summer, some veterinarians immediately started treatment for the disease without officially testing for it, so the numbers could be larger than reported.

"This is a time to be proactive, not reactive," said State Veterinarian David Thain. "Vaccinate your horses."

Lee also cautioned people to take preventative measures on themselves when going outdoors, such as wearing long-sleeved clothing and insect repellent, as well as removing standing water.

Last year 44 people in Nevada tested positive for West Nile virus. No one died.

Nationwide, more than 2,500 tested positive and 100 die.

This will be the second year the virus has been detected in Nevada and in the past,

West Nile has taken its heaviest toll during the second year it has been in a state.

n Contact reporter Cory McConnell at or 881-1217.


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