Two positive cases of equine West Nile virus have been confirmed in Kentucky. The first case for Kentucky was confirmed Aug. 20 in Jefferson County. The second case was confirmed on Aug. 27 in Fayette County. Neither horse had a history of vaccination against West Nile virus, according to Rusty Ford, Equine Programs Manager with the Kentucky State Veterinarian’s office.
The confirmation of diagnosis is based on a positive detection of WNv IgM antibody being reported by the University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and the animal presenting with compatible clinical symptoms.
The Jefferson County horse was a 5-year-old female Tennessee Walking Horse that was reported to be showing improvement. The onset of clinical signs was Aug. 11 and she presented on Aug. 12 with an acute ataxia, lip paresis and inability to move backward.
The case from Fayette County was in a 7-year-old female Thoroughbred-cross pleasure horse that was still alive and responding favorably to treatment at the time of this publication, according to Ford. She presented on Aug. 26 with muscle fasiculations and real limb ataxia.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s West Nile Web Page (www.kyagr.com/statevet/equine-infectious-diseases.html#west) has been updated and includes annual data.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Equine West Nile Virus page has been updated to reflect this second equine case of West Nile virus in Kentucky.