LANSING, Mich. (WZZM) - The Michigan Department of Community Health says it has identified the state's first reported case of the swine flu.
A child from Washtenaw County developed a mild case of the H3N2 virus after being around pigs at the Ingham County Fair on August 1.
This virus does not typically transmit from pigs to humans but their has been 154 cases reported this year.
Meanwhile, officials with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the first West Nile case of the year in a horse in Montcalm County.
The five-year-old Standardbred gelding was unvaccinated. It developed sudden incoordination in the hind limbs and is currently undergoing treatment for West Nile Virus.
"WNV is spread from wild birds to humans, horses, and in some cases pets, through infected mosquitoes and causes encephalitis, or inflammation of the brain," said State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead. "Signs of WNV may include stumbling, limb weakness, facial paralysis, difficulty urinating and defecating, fever, blindness, seizures, and struggling to get up. There is no specific treatment for WNV encephalitis, but supportive care can help horses survive until their natural defenses eliminate the virus."
Since West Nile Virus is spread to horses through the bite of an infected mosquito, protection measures that reduce the exposure to mosquito bites should be adopted. Horse owners should follow these tips to prevent mosquito-borne illness:
- 1. Vaccinate. Inexpensive vaccines for WNV are readily available. It is not too late to vaccinate horses this season. Talk to your veterinarian for details.
- 2. Use approved insect repellents to protect horses.
- 3. If possible, put horses in stables, stalls, or barns, preferably under fans, during the prime mosquito exposure hours of dusk and dawn.
- 4. Eliminate standing water, and drain troughs and buckets at least once a week.