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California Sees First West Nile Virus Cases in Birds

It´s been a concern for midwestern states for a couple of years already… but the West Nile Virus is beginning to show up here in California, according to health officials.

Horse owners are being urged to vaccinate their animals now, since it takes a few weeks for horses to become immune.

“There is not a cure for the disease. That´s why we ask people to talk with their veterinarian about the importance of vaccination and mosquito control measures,” said Leticia Rico from the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Rico says controlling mosquitoes is as simple as eliminating puddles of water where eggs can be laid, and of course, using mosquito repellant containing DEET.

However, should a horse become infected, West Nile is not always fatal.

“About 30 percent of horses that contract the disease actually die or are euthanized because of the disease,” added Rico.

So far this year, there have been no cases of humans or horses having contracted the West Nile Virus.