WNV in Virginia Horses: Case Confirmed in Clarke County

The affected horse—a vaccinated 8-year-old Holsteiner stallion—developed mild ataxia, prominent skin twitching, and moderate behavioral anxiety. He has since fully recovered.
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wnv in virginia horses
West Nile virus is transmitted to horses via bites from infected mosquitoes. | Photo: iStock

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported Nov. 1 that the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed another case of equine West Nile virus (WNV). This is the seventh case of WNV in Virginia horses confirmed so far this year, according to USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) data.

The affected horse—a vaccinated 8-year-old Holsteiner stallion from Clarke County—developed mild ataxia (incoordination), prominent skin twitching, and moderate behavioral anxiety on Oct. 13, the EDCC said. A serum sample was positive on the IgM Capture ELISA performed at the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, in Ithaca, New York. The affected horse has fully recovered, the EDCC said.

In 2017 there was just one confirmed case of WNV in Virginia horses, according to APHIS data

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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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