Salzwedel (dpa/sa) - In the Altmark district of Salzwedel, the West Nile virus has now been found again in a horse after a case in August. The district announced on Monday that the Friedrich Loeffler Institute had detected the infection last Wednesday in a six-year-old draft horse from the Gardelegen area. The horse had previously had symptoms in the form of bouts of fever and an unclear gait. West Nile virus infection is notifiable. However, no further animal health measures are required, it said.
The virus, originally native to the tropics, came to Europe via migratory birds. Birds are the main hosts of the virus. Mosquitoes transmit it. Horses are often a symptom-free individual animal disease, the district said. However, severe courses could also lead to the death of the animals. Approved vaccines are available for horses.
According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), West Nile fever in humans is usually unremarkable. About every fifth infected person develops a flu-like illness with fever. About one in 100 infected people becomes seriously ill. Experts therefore assume that the number of undetected infections is unreported.