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Hells Canyon Journal
Halfway, Oregon
May 19, 2004     Hells Canyon Journal
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May 19, 2004

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Pal e 10 Hells Canyon Journal May 19, 2004 Vaccinate Horses Against West Nile Virus Horse owners in Oregon are being advised to help pro- tect against West Nile virus by vaccinating their animals and taking steps to control mosquitoes this spring and summer. State Veterinarian Don Hansen of the Oregon Department of Agriculture says it is very likely the dis- ease will reach Oregon this year, and that owners of live- stock need to be prepared. Oregon is one of two states without a documented case of West Nile virus. State health officials have predicted the spread of the disease into Oregon sometime in 2004. '%raccination against the disease creates a basic im- munity to West Nile," says Hansen. "For those who have already vaccinated their horses in the past, a booster shot will strengthen that im- munity. Now is the time to treat animals, before the mos- quito season gets into high gear." The vaccine for horses is available through local vet- erinarians. Insect control on individual animals is also a good pre- ventive measure against the virus. Insect repellents ap- plied to animals according to label directions, screened housing at night, and con- trollin$ exposure to mosqui- toes at dusk and dawn can all work to limit the possibility of infection. Reduction of mosquito breeding sites is also effective in controlling the spread of the disease. Any source of stagnant water is important. Tires, wading pools, wheelbarrows, bird- baths, or wherever water can stand for more than four days is a potential breeding site. Local vector control districts can offer advice and assis- tance. Infected wild birds are the source of West Nile virus. Mosquitoes bite infected birds and then can potentially transmit the infection to horses and humans. The dis- ease does not transmit from horse to horse or human to human. A bite by an infected mosquito is the only known route of transmission. A low percentage of mos- quitoes carry the virus and a low percentage of horses bit- ten by infected mosquitoes become ill. But a horse show- ing signs is a serious situa- tion. The disease causes in- flammation of the brain, and about one-third of affected horses die. Symptoms include stumbling, lack of coordina- tion, weakness in the legs, depression, muscle twitching, and death. For more information, con- tact Don Hansen, State Vet- erinarian, at 503-986-4680. Training on West Nile Virus Offered West Nile Virus, a mosquito transmit- :ted disease, will be the focus of several presentations to be held on Wednesday, May 26 at the Oregon Trail Electric Coop- erative at 4005 23rd Street, Baker City. State Epidemiologist and Veterinarians, Dr. Emilio DeBess, will be the featured speaker at this event, which is hosted by the Baker County Health Department. This event is especially important for those who work as veterinarians, private care physi- cians and in other health and public safety professions. Everyone is welcome. Some specific areas of focus are: * how the virus is spread; . signs, symptoms in animals and humans; implications for public safety response; preventionPcector management programs. Featured speaker Dr. Emilio DeBess, DVW, MPVM, has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of California, Davis, and is a State Public Health Veterinarian for the Oregon Health Division, Portland. He is a leading expert in zoonoses, surveillance, prevention and communicable disease. The class is offered at 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. and repeated from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. There is no charge for the class, but pre- registration is required. Register no later than Monday, May 24 by contacting Leanne Humphries, Baker County Health Dept., 541-523-8231 ext. 10; by fax, 541-523-8242, or e-mail Eastern Oregon Forest Institute for Teachers Any teacher interested in a free forestry workshop that includes 20 professional devel- opment units needs to register by June 2. The event will take place in the classroom at the OSU Extension Service in Is- land City, with a field day scheduled as part of the work- shop. The program will pro- vide teachers with an under- standing of eastern Oregon forestry issues and enhance forestry education in the class- room. Lodging, meals, and reg- istration provided. Call Honour Bowen, OSU Extension Ser- vice, at 541-963-1010, or Angle Johnson, Oregon Department of Forestry, 541-963-3168, to sign up. Space is limited to 40. ;i SALE DAYS: WEDNESDAY, MAY 19TH TO SUNDAY, MAY P3RD WHILE SUPPLIES LAST 24 roll pk Bath Tie uo Z25 oz W.F. 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