West Nile Virus Confirmed in Franklin County Horse - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Franklin County Horse

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, WA. - An unvaccinated horse in Franklin County is the first in Washington to contract West Nile virus this year.

The Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory on Tuesday reported the positive results. The Mesa horse has symptoms including progressive neurological signs, including rear end paralysis. Investigators are not sure if the horse recently traveled out of state.

On Monday, the state Department of Health confirmed a Walla Walla County man as the first state resident in 2014 to be infected with the virus.

West Nile is spread by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. The disease sickens people, horses, birds, and other animals but it doesn't spread from horses to people or other animals.

Washington had two confirmed cases of West Nile virus last year, including a horse in Pasco and one in Outlook. Oregon had six cases and Idaho recorded 10.

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