West Nile Virus Confirmed In Three Horses In BC

Feb. 10, 2010, 10:38 a.m.

One in Aldergrove, two in Osoyoos

Andrea Macpherson / Dean Recksiedler ALDERGROVE (NEWS1130) 2009-09-10 12:32

ALDERGROVE (NEWS1130) - Three horses in B.C. are now confirmed to be carrying the West Nile virus--two in the South Okanagan and one the Fraser Valley.  The cases were confirmed overnight by blood tests at two different labs.

One horse in Aldergrove has been infected, along with two horses in Osoyoos.  Dr. John Twidale with the BC Veterinary Medicine Association says it's obviously crept up from the U.S.  "It's been in Washington State for two years now...we've been warning our horse owners that it will arrive, and it has arrived.  The only prevention is vaccination, it's very hard to treat, as it is in humans, so we strongly recommend that horses have an annual vaccination.

Dr. Twidale says if a horse is infected an owner can choose to treat it, but it may have to live with neurological damage and be un-rideable.  He says many owners may also choose to euthanize the animals.

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