The RIVM has announced that a bird in the Utrecht region has been tested positive for the West Nile virus (WNV). This virus mainly occurs in birds and is transmitted by mosquitoes. The virus can also be transmitted to humans and some mammals, including horses.
It is the first time that the West Nile virus has been found in the Netherlands. The warbler was caught and tested in late August as part of the One Health Pact research project. Since the beginning of this year, more than a thousand wild birds have been tested for exotic viruses. Because they were not migratory birds, these birds probably contracted the infection in (the vicinity of) the Netherlands.
Horses can also get complaints. Fortunately, infection with WNV occurs – just like in humans – without any (visible) symptoms in a large number of animals. About 20 percent of the horses show mild symptoms, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, colic and fever. Varying neurological signs are seen in about 10 percent of the animals.
Veterinarians can contact the Horse Helpdesk if you have any questions about the West Nile virus in horses. Specialists from GD and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine answer this phone. This helpdesk can be reached on working days between 3 pm and 5 pm on 0900-7100 000 (option 5).
Source: Press release GD