Sparks, Nev. - August 12, 2021
The Nevada Department of Agriculture
(NDA) reminds horse owners in Nevada of the importance of vaccinating against
West Nile Virus (WNV). This mosquito-borne disease can cause serious illness
targeting a horse’s brain, spinal cord and nervous system. The disease can also be transmitted to humans
from infected mosquitos.
The NDA monitors WNV and other diseases carried by
mosquitos on an annual basis to ensure
the protection of public health and the agriculture industry.
“Statewide testing of mosquito sample pools is essential
in monitoring diseases like WNV,” Laura Morrow, Animal Disease Laboratory
Supervisor, said. “The Animal Disease Laboratory surveys and tests for these
diseases and reports the results to local health departments and vector control
precautions such as using insect repellents, eliminating mosquito-breeding
sites and keeping horses vaccinated against WNV, Saint
Louis Encephalitis (SLE) and Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) is strongly
encouraged for all horse owners.
NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell urges horse
owners to consult with their veterinarian about an effective management plan,
which should include vaccination. Timely vaccination and decreasing exposure to
mosquitos is an effective way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
“Preventing mosquito borne disease is a two-pronged
approach,” said Dr. Mitchell. “Vaccination is extremely effective, but reducing
exposure is also key. The use of
deterrents, in addition to eliminating unnecessary standing water around barns
and residences is extremely beneficial in keeping mosquitos away from you and
WNV, SLE and WEE have been detected in Nevada, all three
of which can cause significant illness and death in both horses and humans. WNV
and WEE are reportable diseases in Nevada meaning that detections must be
reported to the NDA. Testing is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) and the State of Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral
About the Nevada Department of Agriculture
Nevada Department of Agriculture
(NDA) mission is to preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The
department has 150 dedicated employees providing services in its five
divisions, Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and
Nutrition, and Plant Industry. The department’s $232 million budget facilitates
regulatory and administrative work in agriculture and food manufacturing
industries, protecting public and environmental health and worker safety, and
providing food distribution and oversight for the United States Department of
Agriculture’s school and community nutrition programs.