Rifle horse tests positive for West Nile virus
Post Independent Staff
RIFLE – A horse living in Rifle is the first in Garfield County to test positive for the West Nile virus, a veterinarian said.
Dr. Elizabeth Chandler, a New Castle-based veterinarian specializing in large animal emergency care, said the Rifle horse’s case is completely different from an earlier case of West Nile that was confirmed in a horse that had visited Rifle but was boarding in Snowmass Village. That horse was put down last week.
Chandler said the horse in this most recent case is faring far better than the Snowmass Village horse.
“He’s still alive and he’s doing quite nicely,” she said.
The Post Independent reported on Aug. 17 that the Snowmass Village horse had contracted West Nile virus. Because the horse had been transported to the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle, the horse’s veterinarian, Dr. John Canning, couldn’t positively say where the horse had contracted the virus.
“We can’t say for any certainty exactly where this horse contracted the virus,” Canning said last week. “I feel it’s more probable that the horse contracted West Nile in Snowmass Village, but we have no way of knowing.”
As of Thursday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment listed Pitkin County as having confirmed one equine West Nile case.
In Colorado, 347 cases of West Nile virus in horses and 546 human cases have been confirmed.
For more information, call the West Nile toll-free helpline at 1-877-462-2911 or visit http://www.fightthebite.com.
Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518
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