Kentucky Reports First Equine West Nile Virus Case of 2008

Kentucky agriculture officials announced today that a 9-year-old Saddlebred gelding has been confirmed positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first WNV case in the state so far this year.

The affected horse lives in Christian County, in the southwest portion of the state. According to the statement released by the Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office, the horse started showing clinical signs Sept. 5. It had not been vaccinated. As of Sept. 17, the horse was alive and "continues to improve with some mild rear limb ataxia remaining apparent," the statement noted. 

Horses are a dead-end host for WNV; the virus does not spread from horse to horse, or to other animals, including humans.

West Nile virus first appeared in North America in 1999 and has spread steadily across the country. To learn more about WNV, watch our Webinar on Understanding West Nile Virus.  

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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