Health officials say, when the virus is detected in chickens, that means humans could be at risk, as well, via mosquito bites.
Some people experience mild symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches, which subside after a few days to weeks. Although, no human cases have been reported to the Public Health Department this year.
In San Luis Obispo County, a dead bird found in Atascadero on September 18 tested positive for West Nile virus.
The Richland County Vector Control Department said because of the recent spike in West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes, it's monitoring the county and treating standing water to control mosquito larvae, submitting mosquitoes from trap collections for viral testing and working with multiple outlets to promote public awareness.
Now, the positive West Nile-related diagnosis of a horse confirms that there are infected mosquitoes in the area that can transmit the virus to people and animals.
MVMD said that West Nile virus cases are down from the same time in 2016. Those at risk for more serious illness include the elderly and people with suppressed immune systems.
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County officials took advantage of the situation to remind residents to take precautions against mosquito bites by dumping even small amounts of standing water, wearing long pants and sleeves while outdoors or using a repellent.
Defend yourself by using insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus when outdoors.
Make sure window and door screens are in good fix to prevent mosquito entry.
"The best way to avoid mosquito-borne diseases is to reduce exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate mosquito breeding sites", Scott said.
Vaccinations are available for horses from area veterinarians.