West Nile Found In Massena Horse

West Nile Found In Massena Horse

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The West Nile virus has been discovered in a horse in the town of Massena.

It's the third case found in St. Lawrence County in the past couple of months.

A human tested positive for West Nile at Canton-Potsdam Hospital in late August and an alpaca was found to have the disease in the town of Stockholm a couple weeks later.

Officials don't know where the person had been infected.

Public health officials say West Nile is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. 

Most people infected with West Nile show no symptoms or only mild symptoms such as slight fever, headaches or body aches.

People with weak immune systems, however, can experience serious illness, including encephalitis (swelling of the brain), permanent neurological damage and death.

About 80 percent of people bitten by a mosquito infected with the West Nile virus do not get sick.

Meanwhile, the county Public Health Department is urging all residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites and reduce areas for breeding of mosquitoes on their property.

Officials recommend that people should continue to protect themselves when outdoors by using an effective mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long sleeves.

More information on West Nile and how to prevent it is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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