West Nile virus confirmed in Pelzer horse

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The first case of West Nile Virus in a horse has been confirmed in Anderson County. The horse was housed near the intersection of Johnson Rd. and Highway 8 in Pelzer.

The Emergency Management Division in coordination with Gregory Pest Solutions, the County’s pest control contractor, will be spraying the affected area within a one-mile radius of where the horse is housed.

Weather permitting, spraying will take place late on Wednesday night, October 24, 2018, and will include the placement of larvicide briquettes in standing water on public lands and in manholes.

There are still no confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Anderson County; however, the Emergency Management Division continues DHEC-prescribed mitigation and abatement actions in affected areas.

The water-based pesticide used during spraying does not pose a health risk to humans or animals; however, beekeepers with hives in the area should arrange to relocate or cover hives until spraying has been completed. All local beekeeping organizations are being notified.

The larvicide briquettes placed in areas of standing water, to reduce the mosquito threat, should not be handled or disturbed by the public and will remain effective up to 45 days after placement.

A CodeRed alert message will be sent out to residents within a one-mile radius of where the infected bird was located alerting them to plans for spraying and directing them to the Emergency Management Division website for more information.

According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, “A number of measures can be taken to help protect (horses) against WNV. These are comprised of management strategies to reduce exposure to mosquitoes and immunizing against the disease.

Aside from vaccination against WNV, other measures should be taken to reduce the risk of your horse being bitten by a virus-infected mosquito. Concerted efforts should be made to eliminate or reduce potential mosquito breeding sites by disposing of old receptacles, tires and containers and eliminating areas of standing water on farms or at racetracks and wherever horses congregate. 

Clean clogged roof gutters and turn over plastic wading pools or wheelbarrows when not in use. Thoroughly clean livestock watering troughs at least monthly.”

For additional information regarding the West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, as well as other important tips, follow @ACSCEMD on Facebook and Twitter or visit the following websites:

https://aaep.org/horsehealth/west-nile-virus