West Nile Virus Detected in a Horse in New YorkBy Press Release · September 27, 2012
West Nile virus (WNV) was confirmed on serologic samples from a 29-year-old mare this week. The horse had no travel history outside of Westchester County, New York. According to veterinary records, the mare had not been vaccinated for WNV or Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) in at least a year or more. The horse had a current rabies vaccination.
On September 20, the mare had a fever and didn’t appear well according to the owner. The owner asked a veterinarian to examine the mare. By the time the veterinarian arrived, the horse was severely ataxic and eventually became recumbent. Due to the rapid decline in overall condition, the owner and veterinarian agreed to humanely euthanize the mare that afternoon. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples were sent to the New York State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory last week, and West Nile virus was confirmed.
It is not too late in the year to consider vaccinating horses for West Nile and EEE if they haven’t been vaccinated in the last several months. Young, old, or pregnant animals may be at increased risk. In states neighboring New York, EEE and West Nile cases have been reported in humans and animals.