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Charlton case sparks West Nile warning

Virus can infect many species, including humans

August 23, 2009
Although testing was inconclusive, state officials and local horse owners are taking the possibility that a Charlton horse was recently found infected with West Nile Virus seriously.

If it was indeed that virus, it would be the first equine case in Massachusetts this year, and even the first in New England, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's online listing as of last Wednesday.

"People who have horses in Charlton need to know," said an anonymous caller claiming to be a friend of the owner, who lives on Bond Street. "Some horses can fight it off, but her horse couldn't."

"I've had horses all my life — I'm 50 years old — and I've never vaccinated my horses [for WNV] until now," she added. "If it had happened to me, I'd be devastated."

See Monday's Southbridge Evening News for complete coverage of community news.

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