WNV in Kentucky Horses: Four More Cases Confirmed

New cases in Boyle, Harrison, Jackson, and Mercer counties were reported Sept. 20. One affected horse was alive at last update and three had been euthanized. None had been vaccinated against WNV.
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wnv in kentucky
West Nile virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. | Photo: iStock

Four more Kentucky horses have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV), E.S. Rusty Ford, equine operations consultant for the Kentucky State Veterinarian’s Office, said in a statement Sept. 20. There are now six confirmed cases of WNV in Kentucky horses this year.

In Boyle County, a 15-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse mare became ataxic on Sept. 18. Her condition progressively worsened, and she was euthanized on Sept. 20, Ford said. She had no WNV vaccination history.

In Harrison County, a 5-year-old pleasure horse mare began exhibiting signs of disease on Sept. 15. She developed lethargy, lower jaw and chest muscle fasciculation (twitching) and hind-limb ataxia before being euthanized. Ford said she had no WNV vaccination history

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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