Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Nationwide West Nile Case Count Continues to Rise

Thehorse.com - Full Article

by: Erica Larson, News Editor
October 02 2012, Article # 20720

As fall begins and temperatures slowly drop, the number of confirmed equine West Nile virus (WNV) cases around the country continues to rise.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey disease maps, 364 cases of equine WNV had been confirmed at last update (Sept. 25). The current case total is the highest since 2007, when 468 horses were confirmed WNV-positive. The current total will likely rise, as mosquito season is not over in many parts of the country.

Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Virginia have all confirmed WNV cases recently.

Iowa--The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship issued a statement Sept. 28 indicating more than 20 horses in that state had tested positive for WNV thus far in 2012. The statement reported only one case was confirmed in Iowa in 2011.

"Horse owners are encouraged to make sure they get their animals vaccinated and keep the vaccination up-to-date," Bill Northey, Iowa secretary of agriculture, said in the statement. "The cases we are seeing are in horses that have not been vaccinated or are not current on their vaccinations, so we are encouraging owners to talk to their veterinarian and make sure their animals are protected."

Kentucky--Kentucky animal health officials confirmed an additional case of equine WNV, according to a Sept. 28 statement from Kentucky Equine Programs Manager E.S. "Rusty" Ford.

An unvaccinated 26-year-old Quarter Horse stallion from Madison County began showing clinical signs--including recumbency (unable to rise after lying down), hyperesthesia (hypersensitivity to touch and sound), and miotic (constricted) pupils--on Sept. 25 and was euthanized the same day. Ford said the horse had no vaccination history...

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