Kentucky Identifies Third West Nile Virus Positive Horse This Year

One additional Kentucky equine was confirmed on Sept. 30, 2014, as being affected with the West Nile virus. The diagnosis is based on a positive WNV IgM antibody detected in serum and the compatible clinical symptoms described below. The diagnostic testing was conducted at Murray State University’s Breathitt Veterinary Center.

The positive horse was a 26-year-old grade gelding from Marchall County, Kentucky. Onset of clinical signs was Sept. 22, 2014. Clinical signs described by the attending veterinarian showed the horse as presenting febrile, lethargic, inappetence >~36hrs progressive facial muscle fasciculation with lower lip paresis, >~12hrs down unable to rise. The gelding was euthanized on Sept. 26, 2014.

As with the first (and presumably second) case of WNV in Kentucky this year, this third affected horse is reported as not having been vaccinated.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s web page includes a map displaying the affected counties and has been updated to reflect this third Kentucky equine West Nile case.

Historically, we have seen equine West Nile cases developing in Kentucky during the vector season into November. Horse owners and individuals are encouraged to continue taking precautionary measures to minimize risk of exposure to vectors potentially carrying the virus and consulting their veterinarians regarding use of the available vaccines that have proven efficacy in providing horses the needed protection. The Kentucky equine case summary information can be found at

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