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West Nile Virus detected in a Westchester Co., NY Horse


West Nile Virus detected in a Westchester Co., NY Horse.

West Nile Virus (WNV) was confirmed on serologic samples from a twenty nine year old mare this week. The horse had no travel history outside of Westchester County. The mare hadn’t been vaccinated for EEE or WNV in at least a year or more according to veterinary records. The horse had a current Rabies vaccination status. On 9-20-12, the mare had a fever and didn’t appear well according to the owner. The owner called the veterinarian to come examine the mare. By the time the veterinarian arrived, the horse was severely ataxic, neurologic and eventually went down. Due to the rapid decline in overall condition, the owner and veterinarian agreed to humanely euthanize the mare that afternoon. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid was sent to the NYS Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory last week where West Nile Virus was confirmed.

We are reminding veterinarians and horse owners that it is not too late in the year to consider vaccinating horses in NYS 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. This year, we have had a lot of positive arboviral activity around the state through mosquito surveillance. In our neighboring states, EEE and West Nile cases have been reported as well in both humans and animals.

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets has a new twitter account for your clients to follow on the latest news and updates from the department. Follow us at:@NYAgandMarkets. Our e-Alerts to accredited veterinarians will continue to be sent out regularly.

Courtney L. McCracken, DVM
Veterinarian 2
Program Manager: Equine, Outreach, Accreditation
Foreign Animal Disease Investigations, Aquaculture
NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets
Division of Animal Industry