Michigan now has had five confirmed cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2017. The first three horses were confirmed in late July and were all euthanized. One of the most recent cases was euthanized and the other was reportedly undergoing treatment at the time of this writing.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed the two positive WNV cases on August 10. One was a 6-year-old Standardbred gelding from Mecosta County, which was last reported to be undergoing treatment. The other was a 6-year-old Quarter Horse mare from Midland County, which was euthanized due to the severity of her condition.
Both horses were unvaccinated and developed sudden neurologic signs, including ataxia in all limbs.
This article was prompted by 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.