The Kentucky State Veterinarian’s office has announced Sept. 1 that a Shelby County horse has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), the third confirmed case in the commonwealth this year.

In a statement Kentucky Equine Programs manager E.S. "Rusty" Ford relayed that the 3-year-old Quarter Horse mare with no history of vaccination presented on Aug. 28 with lethargy, ataxic (mild rear limb weakness), facial muscle fasciculations (twitching), bilateral nasal discharge, and head tilting. As of Sept. 1, the attending veterinarian reported that the mare is able to rise and is in stable condition, Ford’s statement said.

West Nile virus was first diagnosed in Kentucky equids during the late summer in 2001.

“Including this year’s three reported cases (through Sept. 1), our cumulative equine case total since 2001 is 716,” Ford said.

The cumulative data suggests that WNV cases in Kentucky generally peak mid-September (in the second or third week), then begins slowly tapering off through November, he added.

“Recognizing horses will continue to have opportunity of exposure, and potentially contracting the virus through November of this year, we encourage individuals to consult their veterinarian regarding their horse’s immunization status, to help make a determination if there is need or benefit of vaccinating or boosting immunity,” Ford said. “In addition, your veterinarian and other sources can help define additional strategies to mitigate disease risk that include minimizing exposure to mosquitos and eliminating mosquito’s natural habitat.”

In 2014 Kent