With the number of people in California infected this year with West Nile Virus (WNV) three times higher than the same time last year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is declaring a state of emergency in Kern, Colusa and San Joaquin counties to prevent the spread of this mosquito-borne disease.
On August 3, the Center for Equine Health at the University of California at Davis issued a West Nile Virus alert on its web site saying, "The Center for Equine Health would like to remind horse owners to remain vigilant about keeping their horses' vaccinations current and to follow recommendations to prevent the spread of this mosquito-borne disease."
This year there have been five human deaths in California due to West Nile Virus; 64 human cases from 15 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2007. There have been 22 new WNV positive human cases reported in California this week.
On the equine front, five horses from three counties have tested positive for WNV in 2007.
There are many fewer horse cases of the disease this year, but the human cases are skyrocketing, from 20 at this time in 2006 to 64 this year.
California has created a very informative web site on West Nile at http://westnile.ca.gov/
Image shows the tiger mosquito, common host for West Nile Virus. Photo courtesy of Centers for Disease Control.