First Case of Equine WNV in Delaware Since 2015 Turns Deadly

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Delaware Kent County map

Delaware's first 2017 case of WNV occurred in Kent County.

The first 2017 case of equine West Nile virus (WNV) been confirmed in an 11-year-old Quarter Horse mare in Kent County, Delaware. The mare began showing neurologic signs on August 6. She had weakness in all four limbs, then lost the ability to stand and was euthanized on August 9.

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory received samples from the mare on August 10, and the lab confirmed the WNV diagnosis on August 14. The affected horse was not currently vaccinated against WNV. 

This is the first confirmed case of WNV in a horse in Delaware since 2015, according to the Delaware government. However, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s (DNREC) Mosquito Control Section, in conjunction with the Delaware Division of Public Health Laboratory and the Department of Agriculture, stated that two detections of WNV and one detection of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) had been confirmed in DNREC’s sentinel chickens. There also had been detection of WNV in a wild crow. So far in Delaware this year, no cases of WNV or EEE have been found in humans.

For more information visit http://news.delaware.gov/2017/08/15/west-nile-virus-confirmed-delaware-horse.

This article was created with information from the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). The EDCC works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.

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