The infected equine is a 10-year-old pony gelding that was purchased from a Pennsylvania livestock auction and transported to New Castle County late last month.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. Overall, 559 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC.
A recent collection of adult mosquitos across five cities in Jefferson County tested positive for the West Nile virus. Health officials recommend using insect repellent with DEET, wear long-sleeved shirts, trousers and socks when outdoors...and avoid going out at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active. "The risk of getting WNV is present anytime that mosquitos are active". Health officials emphasize the importance of people taking precautions as suggested by the CDC to keep mosquitoes from biting.
Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep mosquitoes out.
Clear standing water and any items from around homes that can be potential mosquito breeding-grounds, including small puddles, pools, planters, children's sandboxes, wagons or toys, underneath and around faucets, as well as plant saucers and pet bowls.
Two cases of WNV were confirmed in DE horses in 2017. Symptoms include fever, headache, body and joint aches, vomiting, diarrhea, and rash. Residents who experience symptoms are advised to visit their healthcare providers. West Nile can cause fever, headaches, nausea, muscle stiffness and can be deadly to people with weak immune systems and the elderly.