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Last Updated: Aug 19th, 2013 - 16:45:37 

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Horse Health

CSU Diagnoses First Equine West Nile Virus Case this Year, Tracks Outbreak in Northern Colorado
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Aug 19, 2013, 16:45

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FORT COLLINS - The first reported equine case of West Nile Virus (WNV) was diagnosed in Colorado last week. Colorado State University’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory diagnosed the WNV positive horse, a 3-month-old colt from Montezuma County.

According to Hana Van Campen, professor of Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology at CSU, the clinical signs of WNV encephalitis are very similar to many other infectious diseases that affect the nervous system of horses such as rabies and Western equine encephalitis, as well as causes such as trauma and poisonings. If a horse becomes sick, owners should have their veterinarian examine the horse and select appropriate diagnostic tests and procedures to determine the cause of the illness.

“The majority of horses, like people, that become infected with West Nile Virus do not show any signs of illness,” said Van Campen, who also works at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. “In a small percentage of infected horses, the virus reaches the brain and spinal cord. These horses may have a fever, be lethargic, stop eating, and have muscle fasciculation (twitching), tremors, incoordination and weakness progressing to recumbency.”

There are three types of vaccines readily available to protect horses against severe disease caused by WNV.

“It is most important to vaccinate young horses against WNV thoroughly following the directions of the vaccine manufacturers,” said Van Campen.

Specific recommendations for vaccination can be found on the website of the American Association of Equine Practitioners at http://www.aaep.org/wnv.htm.

At CSU’s Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, a crew of 80 runs about 500,000 tests a year – about 2,000 a day – to help diagnose and monitor sick pets and livestock on behalf of practicing veterinarians, animal owners and government agencies such as the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Park Service and the Office of the State Veterinarian.

The state veterinarian’s office reports the illnesses that affect livestock and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment report diseases that are a potential threat to public health, but it is the staff at the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab that often make the diagnoses as a service to the state of Colorado, which is true to the university’s land-grant mission.

CSU tracks outbreak in Northern Colorado

This summer's high temperatures, along with frequent and heavy precipitation, have created ideal conditions for the area’s mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus according to Chet Moore, an infectious disease researcher at CSU.

Last year’s numbers of mosquitoes were low because of the severe drought, as well as generally cool temperatures. Lack of spring and summer rain meant fewer water-filled locations for the mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Cool temperatures slow the development of larvae and cause female mosquitoes to diminish their efforts to bite humans and animals. Moore’s lab at the CSU Foothills Campus works with the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland to test samples of mosquito populations for the virus.

“A spring with lots of snow and rainfall followed by warm weather tends to be a sign that these mosquitoes will be in higher numbers because the weather pattern provides them with more habitat,” Moore said. “Warm weather leads to runoff and flooding, which leaves standing water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Summer monsoon rains further contribute to the problem.”

Hot and dry weather also means an increase in irrigation, leading to standing water on irrigated land.

A mosquito lays her eggs in standing water and if the water sits for about five to six days, the larvae develop into adult mosquitoes. Some large areas of standing water can produce as many as 1 million new mosquitoes; even a birdbath, without preventative measures, can spawn hundreds of newly hatched mosquitoes every four to six days.

Not all mosquitoes carry the virus; in the United States, there are several species of mosquito that are considered by scientists as important in transmitting West Nile virus, and in the West, it is the Culex tarsalis and Culex pipiens mosquitoes that carry and transmit the virus.

And while temperatures play a large role in determining how much of a problem virus-carrying pests may be, scientists still are working to unravel some of the mysteries of West Nile virus. Bird populations, for example, also may impact the number of mosquitoes carrying the virus. Birds carry the virus after being bitten by an infected mosquito, then pass it on to uninfected mosquitoes when they are bitten, helping spread the disease through the mosquito population that in turn infect humans and other animals. Some species of birds, including crows, magpies, jays and many hawks and owls, are extremely susceptible to West Nile infection and suffer high mortality.

The virus has only existed in Colorado since 2002, but researchers don’t know if the virus survives in infected mosquitoes over the winter to re-emerge each spring, or if migrating birds return the virus to the area as they return each spring. The average lifespan of a mosquito is about a week, and although adult female mosquitoes can overwinter, the virus does not seem to survive the winter in mosquitoes.

Only the female mosquitoes bite and transmit the virus. Male mosquitoes feed on plant nectars. Females must take a blood meal to produce eggs and need to mate with a male only once in their lifetime. Once mated and fed, they produce as many as 200 eggs every three to four days in ideal conditions.

In their lifetime, some mosquitoes can easily travel up to 30 miles, sometimes covering up to as much as 15 miles in a night. Fortunately, the Culex vectors of West Nile virus fly only about half those distances. When cooler temperatures strike – in the low 50s, which occurs often at night in the spring and fall – mosquitoes are unable to fly, which contributes to diminishing mosquito bites in the fall and increasing bites when temperatures warm.

“Early prevention is the key to lowering mosquito populations,” Moore said. “Taking steps in the spring can reduce the numbers of mosquitoes through the summer.”

Moore’s top tips for avoiding a bite from a mosquito:

- Water management. Fill low areas where water puddles with dirt and treat standing water in ponds, birdbaths and other areas with larvicide according to directions on the label. Clean birdbaths and other yard decorations that incorporate water about once a week and also treat those with larvicide donuts if needed. Several larvicide products are safe for birds and other animals — be sure to check the label before using any product.

- Avoid the outdoors from dusk to midnight, which is a prime time for the mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus to feed. The species of mosquitoes carrying the virus are active later into the night than some other species in the area, which feed mainly in the early evening hours.

- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants in light colors. Lighter-colored clothing repels mosquitoes more than dark-colored clothing.

- Use a repellent when necessary. Repellents with DEET are most often recommended; a relatively new product called picaridin is almost as effective. Picaridin is Centers for Disease Control and EPA approved and it is not as oily as DEET because it is made with an alcohol base. The strong odor of lemon eucalyptus may also be effective compared to other “natural” repellents. Follow the label when applying repellents because over-applying it may irritate the skin. Citronella has not been proven to be very effective against mosquitoes.

- There is no scientific relationship between wearing perfume, aftershave or other scented products and mosquito bites, although some scents may attract mosquitoes and some may repel them. Some people are more attractive to mosquitoes based on their body temperature, moisture on the skin and specific compounds in their sweat. There also is no scientific evidence that consuming garlic, vitamin B or other foods work in keeping mosquitoes away.



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Shiozawa, Cooper tie in Kennewick's 'mini NFR'
Payson Rodeo September 20 & 21 - Arizona High School Rodeo Association; Arizona Junior High School Rodeo Association
Walker wins Lamar, celebrates husband's induction into ProRodeo Hall of Fame
Roping
AQHA Teams Up with USTRC
NFSR relocates to Kansas
Southwest USTRC Finals July 31 – August 3rd
APHA / USTRC Cowtown ShootOut will be first of five qualifying events for RFD-TV’s “The American” Rodeo with $2 Million Cash Payout
USTRC Facts
APHA and USTRC Team Up On New Team Roping Venture 2013 APHA Cowtown ShootOut
Showgrounds
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Style
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Texas
Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) in Texas Update
TAHC Receives Excellence in Emergency Management Award
RFD-TV’S THE AMERICAN SEMIFINALS PAYS OUT BIG MONEY TO CONTESTANTS, WHO NOW HAVE A SHOT AT TWO MILLION DOLLARS
2014 Region 9 AHA Championship Show May 28 – May 31, 2014
HOUSTON SPCA, TEXAS A&M LAUNCH NATION’S LARGEST ANIMAL WELFARE-SHELTER MEDICINE PROGRAM
Career Opportunity: Assistant Executive Director-Animal Health Programs
Miller Named Director of Texas A&M Institute for Pre-Clinical Studies
Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC): Interested in Scheduling a TAHC Speaker for your Next Event?
Trail Riding
Kriel's Guide to Wickenburg Horse Trails, second edition is now available!
USEF Names Short List for the 2014 Alltech FEI WorldEquestrian Games U.S. Endurance Team
Time to Ride “100 Day Horse Challenge” to launch June 1
Join ACTHA for fun, friends and memories...
LONE RANGERS SINGLES RIDING CLUB
Glendale Equestrian Club Ride Schedule
Trail Tips
National recognition for your trail project
YOU Motivate Me!
The Rookie & The Veteran: Arizona’s First Triple Crown Winning Team
Jeremy Reynolds, Southeast Team B Win North American Endurance Team Challenge
Rail trail case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court
Forest Service trail needs reported to Congress in GAO study
Endurance Strategic Planning Group calls for immediate and sustainable action
STEP Program
Cave Creek Regional Park Celebrates 21st Anniversary
County parks to hold public meeting for proposed fee increases
ARIZONA TRAIL RIDE CLINIC!!!
TRAIL RIDE CLINIC (or “prepping for the AZ Triple Crown Rides”)
Celebrate HwH 20th Anniversary- Join us for Rock-in at the Ranch
Western
Snaffle Bit Futurity Finals Tickets Available Now
Hoof-Hearted Awareness Western Dressage Association of America
The Founder of Cowboy Dressage, Eitan Beth-Halachmy, will Canter into Madison for the 2014 Midwest Horse Fair
Training Tip: Horse Hurries Back To The Barn
Ranch Sorting News
30th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering Focuses on the Next Generation of Rural Westerners
Western Heritage Celebration in Arizona
Sponsorship has its privileges - be a Snaffle Bit Futurity SPONSOR!
Western horse-riding is now in the major league at the Salon du Cheval de Paris
East Coast Reined Cow Horse Classic
6,734 Teams at the 2013 Priefert RSNC National Finals June 4-9, 2013 – Fort Worth, TX
Who's Who!
Merle Jay Meyers May 17, 1949 - August 29, 2014
Dan Urschel Dies
Four Scientists Named to Agricultural Research Service Science Hall of Fame
AQHA Hall of Fame Nominations
Robert H. Kieckhefer
Rick Johns
Allred Brothers
Sherry Cervi
ASSAULT ON AMERICAN RANCHING
In Memoriam: Michael James Bullman (GBR), 1942 - 2014
Zane Schulte Award
California Racetrack Practitioner Leads the AAEP in 2014
ProRodeo Hall of Fame announces Class of 2014
Cecil Jones, July 2 1917- Aug. 14, 2014
Lane Frost: The legend lives on
AQHA Honorary Vice President M.O. "Bud" Breeding died July 19
Billy Hale, Dec. 1, 1938-July 12, 2014
Trotter Elected to American Horse Council
Harley D Zip Immortalized as Breyer Model
Rocky Mountain Native Selected for Colorado’s Top BLM Position
Cowhorse-Cutting
Free Clinic with NRCHA Hall of Fame horseman Bobby Ingersoll
Ranching Heritage Challenge in Amarillo
Grasping the Two-Rein
NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity Begins Monday, Sept. 22 Entries up 30% over 2013
More Cow Horse Champions Crowned
NRCHA - AFFILIATE EVENTS
AQHA Cattle Novice Championship Update
Boyd Rice wins 2014 NRCHA World's Greatest Horseman Championship aboard Oh Cay N Short
News from the NRCHA Celebration of Champions
National High School Rodeo Association adds reined cow horse to its event lineup in 2014
Kalpowar Quarter Horses Returns to the NRCHA as the 2014 World's Greatest Horseman Sponsor
News from the National Reined Cow Horse Association Celebration of Champions
News from the National Reined Cow Horse Association
The perfect gift - A voucher for the summer ball of the Spanish Riding School - the Fête Impériale 2014!
“THERE’S A CHANGE ON THE HORIZON”
Back 2 Basics AQHA Circuit and Dirt & Diamonds NRCHA Derby! February 12-16, 2014 - Rancho Murieta, CA
Non-Pro Limited Champions Crowned at NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity
Youth Champions Crowned at NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity
Lindsay Wadhams Rides Spursuasion to Dual Non-Pro Bridle Championships At the National Reined Cow Horse Association Snaffle Bit Futurity in Reno, Nev.,
New! Silver Legacy Hotel Drops Room Rates for NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity!
World
2015 AMERICANA: Cutting World Cup Open
Embedding Equitation Science into teaching and practice of equestrian professionals
Draw of tickets for the Final 4 of the Jumping and the closing ceremony : registration starts on April 24
Draw of tickets for the Final 4 of the Jumping and the closing ceremony : registration starts on April 24
Centuries-Old Sport Comes to Life in Rural Afghanistan
Team USA wins FEI Young Rider Nations Cup
Wild Card Jim Anderson Wins Road to the Horse 2014
An accommodation strategy for the benefit of everyone.
Platinum Sponsors – NRHA European Futurity
The Numbers of the 2014 NRHA European Futurity
$80,000 added Austrian RHA Futurity & NRHA Show
KL Performance Horses Returns as NRHA European Futurity Main Sponsor
FEI Announces Officials for 2014 World Equestrian Games
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting Final: pas-de-deux champions make history in Bordeaux
Conference delegates give positive response to Endurance strategic plan
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2013/2014: Leipzig decider sees nine nations head to Bordeaux Final
Two Paws Up for Danny & Ron's Rescue, Teaming Up with Lyle Lovett to Support the United States Equestrian Team!
2014 UNDER THE SIGN OF THE HORSE!
THE DARK HORSE: CELEBRATED SPORTING ARTIST INVOLVED IN LOVE TRIANGLE WITH TRAGIC END TO SELL AT BONHAM
MAR-A-LAGO CLUB - AN INVITATION TO PARADISE
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