The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection confirmed three new cases of equine West Nile virus (WNV). Two of the three horses were unvaccinated 2-year-old Friesians from Waukesha County. One is a filly and one is a colt, and both began exhibiting clinical signs on September 8 and were sampled on September 13. Clinical signs included difficulty backing, hypermetria, paresis, proprioceptive deficits, hyperesthesia and reluctance to flex neck. Both are improving with treatment, but one is still neurologic.
The third horse is an unvaccinated 3-year-old Standardbred filly from Green Lake County. The mare seemed off and lethargic starting on about September 1 and appeared to improve. A veterinarian was called when signs worsened and samples were taken on September 11. The veterinarian reported that the mare is slowly improving after showing neurologic signs (circling, hypermetria, muscle fasciculations, ataxia).
These are confirmed equine WNV cases numbers 17, 18 and 19 for 2017 in Wisconsin.
The Equine Disease Communication Center (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.