West Nile Virus Detected in France

French veterinary officials have reported the confirmation of the country's first equine West Nile virus (WNV) case in two years. The case was detected in Pyrenees-Orientales (southern France) on a farm located at Argeles-sur-mer.

There were 15 susceptible horses on the farm, but only one horse developed illness. The horse is recovering, and it is assumed that it contracted the disease from vectors. West Nile virus was confirmed on ELISA tests on blood samples at Bouches du Rhone Department Laboratory on Sept. 26, and at AFSSA Maisons-Alfort on Sept. 29.

The Office International des Epizooties (OIE, or World Organization for Animal Health) received information about the WNV case on Sept. 29 from Dr. Monique Eloit, deputy director general, General Directorate for Food (DGAL), Ministry of Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Rural Affairs in Paris. The OIE mapped the outbreak here.

According to an Oct. 10 ProMED-mail post, in 2000, WNV was detected in horses in southern France for the first time in almost 35 years. The outbreak was declared over in October 2004.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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