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Public Health

State Vet: 'No Need To Panic' Over West Nile Virus Cases

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State officials have released a report showing West Nile Virus infections in two horses. The infections found in Churchill and Clark Counties indicate some risk for humans and other horses, but Nevada's head veterinarian says there is no cause for alarm. 

Reno Public Radio’s Marcus Lavergne has more:

When horses catch West Nile Virus, it can cause neurological problems. That’s why Dr. JJ Goicoechea recommends people get their horses vaccinated.

In humans, the disease is milder and flu-like. According to Goicoechea, 99-percent of the time, there are little to no symptoms. Still, he says people should take steps to protect themselves from mosquitoes, which can carry the virus among other diseases.

“You just need to take the precautions,” Goicoechea said. “Use your insecticides, try to avoid exposure to mosquitoes early in the morning… later in the evening, and just really try to limit the chances of getting bitten by a mosquito.”

Goicoechea also says cleaning up water reservoirs can help stunt the growth of nests, but reports there’s no statewide rise in infections and no need to panic.

Although the insects are prevalent in the warmer months, mosquito season is expected to end with the first frost in October.

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