Kentucky officials warn weather conditions are ripe for West Nile outbreak

May 01, 2012
By staff
Frankfort, Ky. — Warm, wet weather in Kentucky over the last few weeks means conditions are ripe for an outbreak of West Nile virus (WNV), and equine owners are being warned to vaccinate their horses against the disease.

Agriculture James Comer issued the warning March 28, citing advice from Kentucky State Veterinarian Dr. Robert Stout that horse owners seek WNV vaccinations from their veterinarians.

Mosquitoes, which spread WNV, thrive in such weather conditions, Comer warns. No horse in Kentucky that has undergone a full West Nile vaccination regimen is known to have contracted the virus since 2003, says Stout. West Nile was first discovered in Kentucky in 2001, and the state experienced 513 equine cases of the disease in 2002 and 102 cases in 2003. Only one equine case was reported in 2011, according to Stout.