Pennsylvania Horse Dead From West Nile

The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced Wednesday that the West Nile virus (WNV) has been found in a horse in East Hanover Township, Dauphin County.

This is the first confirmed case of West Nile infection in a Pennsylvania horse. An infected horse does not transmit the virus to people and does not pose a threat to other horses or people who may have come in contact with or cared for the horse.

The 25-year-old infected horse from the Capital Area Therapeutic Riding Association horse farm was euthanized Sept. 22 after it began to show signs of encephalitis. The state Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Agriculture now have confirmed the horse's West Nile virus infection.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in cooperation with Dauphin County's West Nile coordinator, has taken steps to reduce mosquito populations in the area.

The state Department of Health is working with the owner of the horse farm to identify and reach out to those who visited the farm in recent weeks. Anyone who has visited the farm and has questions should contact the Department of Health at 877/PA-HEALTH.

DEP has set additional mosquito traps in Dauphin County to collect as many adult mosquitoes as possible. So far, no infected mosquitoes have been found in the area.

Agriculture Secretary Samuel Hayes Jr. said concerned horse owners should contact their veterinarian. A fact sheet for horse owners also is available through the West Nile web site, The toll-free information line, 877/PA-HEALTH, is answered 24 hours a day. Direct assistance is available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. A Department of Health representative is available for emergency cases at other times.

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