West Nile Case Confirmed in Van Zandt County

East Texas has had it's first confirmed case of the West Nile Virus in a mammal this year.

It was confirmed last Thursday in a horse in Van Zandt County. So far this year, only birds in the Houston area have been found with West Nile.

Horses are some of the most susceptible animals to West Nile, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. At the Gresham Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Bryan Ramsey has seen a steady stream of horse owners getting their animals vaccinated. He hopes the warnings about West Nile will make a difference this mosquito season.

"We've had really good success in this area -- really good turnout -- with people vaccinating for the West Nile Virus. I think the biggest majority of the horses under our care have been vaccinated last year, and they're getting their boosters this year," Ramsey says.

Humans can contract West Nile, though it is very rare. Symptoms can include fever, headache, and a rash. There were 202 human cases in Texas last year. Thirteen of those people died.