Suspect West Nile Virus

Good morning everyone.

NCDA&CS Veterinary Division completed an investigation that began when a veterinarian called to report a suspected West Nile Virus (WNV) in Harnett County. The horse is 12-years-old, has been owned by its current owner for the past six (6) months and has no known vaccination history. The horse had intermittent circling and head pressing for the past three (3) weeks that have been improving since the veterinarian started treating. Serology for WNV were extremely elevated with negative IgM levels, and the lab in Georgia interpreted this as highly suspicious of WNV since there have not been any recent vaccines given for WNV. They recommended a repeat titer in 2-3 weeks, and the veterinarian believes the owner will not do this as he is reluctant to spend more money outside of the treatment that is ongoing.

We agree with the veterinarian and consider this a suspect case of WNV. Although we do not have confirmation of the disease, we wish to inform you of this case in case if you wish to remind your clients to vaccinate their animals for the disease.

Dr. Mike Neault Director of Livestock Programs, Veterinary Division
N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
1030 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699