Surveillance Plan for West Nile Virus in Hawaii
There are 5 components to Hawaii's surveillance system.
- Dead Bird
- Live Bird
- Equine (horses)
Many horses infected with WNV will develop mild disease and recover. Horses can develop serious disease including inflammation of the brain from WNV infection. 30% of the horses that develop neurological signs from WNV infection may die or be euthanized.
Clinical signs of WNV in horses include:
- Weakness, especially in the rear legs
- Inability to stand or difficulty standing
- Muscle twitching on the face or body
- Drooping or paralyzed lips
- Teeth grinding
- Depression, head drooping
If your horse shows any of these clinical signs contact your veterinarian. Samples can be collected and tested for West Nile virus through the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture at 808-483-7106 or after hours at 808-837-8092.
There are two types of West Nile virus vaccines available for horses to help prevent infection with WNV. These vaccines require two initial doses and annual revaccination. Consult your veterinarian regarding vaccinating your horse.
Minimizing your horses exposure to mosquitoes decreases the risk of WNV infection.
Apply mosquito repellents to your horse, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes feed.
Remove mosquito breeding sites around horse stables: drain standing water, clean water containers at least weekly, minimize standing water in irrigated fields, place fish that eat mosquito larvae in stock water tanks.
For More Equine Information:
Clink on link to view video of West Nile virus infection in horses and other animals in the mainland United States produced by the Rotary Club of Fort Collins, Colorado and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.