ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Board of Animal Health has confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in a Minnesota horse in more than a year.

The board says it was diagnosed in a 33-year-old American quarter horse in the northwestern town of Euclid in Polk County. The mare had poor coordination and weak hind legs when seen by a veterinarian Oct. 9, but showed significant improvement with treatment within a week.

The horse had been vaccinated against the mosquito-borne disease. Dr. Courtney Wheeler of the board’s equine program says the vaccine may not completely prevent the disease, but it’s effective and veterinarians are encouraged to recommend it.

The last previous confirmed case of West Nile in a Minnesota horse had been in August 2016.

Minnesota has documented 23 human cases this year.


The above story has been corrected to show the horse was from Polk County.

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