GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A camelid in Berrien County has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
It marks the fourth case of West Nile virus reported in a domestic animal this year, MDARD said.
In late September, the 6-year-old camelid experienced head and neck tremors, State Veterinarian Nora Wineland said in a statement. This progressed to the animal being “unable to rise,” and it ultimately died.
“While WNV typically affects horses, humans, and birds, the disease can sometimes cause illness in other animals,” Wineland said. “Therefore, even though this case is rare, it is not fully unexpected.”
The camelid family includes camels, alpacas and llamas. MDARD said it was unable to further clarify the type of animal, citing state law.
As of Friday, MDARD said West Nile virus has been detected in 17 wild birds and 124 mosquito pools in Michigan. There have also been 19 cases reported in humans, the department said.
West Nile virus is transmitted through an infected mosquito’s bite, not by animal-to-human or animal-to-animal contact, according to MDARD.
The department reminded people that the threat of mosquito-borne illnesses will continue until the first hard freeze of the season. Owners are encouraged to keep mosquitoes away from their animals by putting animals under fans in a barn from dusk to dawn, getting rid of standing water and using approved insect repellants.
To learn more about West Nile virus, you can visit michigan.gov/emergingdiseases.