Uintah County, Utah — Over the past month three horses have been euthanized after testing positive for the West Nile Virus in Utah.
The horses were among four that tested positive in Duchesne and Uintah counties since Aug. 16.
The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is urging horse owners to vaccinate their horses to protect them against the potentially fatal disease.
About one-third of horses that contract West Nile Virus will die or have to be euthanized because of the disease, according to the UDAF.
Spread by mosquitoes, West Nile Virus affects horses, as well as birds and people. Owners are also being told to remove standing water where horses stand to stop mosquitoes from breeding.
“The West Nile Virus continues to be a threat to horses in Utah,” said state veterinarian, Dr. Dean Taylor. “It is important that horse owners get their horses vaccinated annually to protect against this disease.”