The Office of the State Veterinarian announced today Delaware’s fourth and fifth cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) found in horses in 2018. Three previous cases of WNV in horses were reported in 2018, two in August and one in September. Even though we are nearing the end of the mosquito season, the State Veterinarian urges horse owners to contact their veterinarians as soon as possible to have horses and other equines vaccinated against WNV and EEE. Neither disease has a specific drug treatment, and EEE infections in horses are fatal in 70 to 90 percent of cases, and WNV in 30 percent of cases.
The Office of the State Veterinarian announced today Delaware’s third case of West Nile Virus (WNV) found in horses in 2018. The infected equine is a 10-year-old pony gelding that was purchased from a Pennsylvania livestock auction and transported to a premises in New Castle County, DE on August 27. On August 30, the pony was observed to have a fever, was leaning and walking sideways. He progressed to show signs of wobbling and staggering, decreased tail tone, and facial nerve deficits. Samples were submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory, which confirmed the diagnosis of WNV on September 7. The vaccination history for this pony is unknown.
The Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing that a 60-year-old Sussex County man has tested positive for the state’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2018. The man was briefly hospitalized for illness in July and after a preliminary positive test result from the DPH Laboratory in Smyrna, the blood sample was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing. WNV, a mosquito-borne illness, can become serious, and DPH reminds people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
The Delaware Department of Agriculture, DNREC’s Mosquito Control Section and the Delaware Beekeepers Association urge anyone who keeps bees in Delaware to register their bee hives and sign up for all the apps that are available that can help protect the state’s valuable pollinators.
Heavy rains prompt mosquito alert and advisory; DNREC Mosquito Control working to thwart big rise in numbers
Due to heavy rainfall Delaware has received in the last week – and with more rain forecast through the weekend – there will be plenty of surface water for the state’s mosquito species to lay their eggs with great numbers of mosquitoes expected to hatch in the near future.