Kentucky Confirms First 2017 Equine West Nile Virus Case

Kentucky's first 2017 case of West Nile virus in a horse was confirmed today.

Kentucky reported its first 2017 case of West Nile virus in a yearling Thoroughbred that had been vaccinated.

Results of diagnostic testing reported today by Equine Diagnostic Solutions in Lexington, Kentucky, confirmed a diagnosis of West Nile virus having affected a horse in Bourbon County.

The diagnosis is based on detected WNv IgM antibody and compatible clinical symptoms.

The Bourbon County case was a yearling female Thoroughbred that is still alive. The onset of clinical signs was June 7 when she presented as being down and able to rise only with assistance. She had muscle fasciculations and seizures. On June 9 the filly was reported as stable and improving. On June 13 the attending veterinarian described the filly as continuing to show daily improvement.

The filly had been current with her West Nile virus vaccinations. She was initially vaccinated in 2016 with a booster on June 1, 2017.

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s equine West Nile virus web page at has been updated to reflect this first case of 2017. In addition to the current year data, historical (2001-2016) and cumulative summary data is also available on the site.

E.S. Rusty Ford is the Equine Programs Manager with the Office of the Kentucky State Veterinarian.

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