Press Release
Public Health


West Nile virus confirmed in Kittitas County horse

Kittitas County, WA - 09/19/2017 - The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) reports that West Nile virus (WNV) has been confirmed in a horse in Kittitas County. The confirmed case is in a fifteen year old quarter horse gelding. That horse is currently being treated. Washington State Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the horse did not travel outside of Washington State and was not vaccinated for West Nile virus.

There is a vaccine available for horses to prevent WNV infection, which should be administered annually in the spring.  Many horses infected with WNV do not become ill and will show no symptoms.  If symptoms are displayed they may include loss of appetite, loss of coordination, confusion, fever, stiffness, muscle tremors, and muscles weakness (especially in the hindquarters).  About one-third of all horses that become ill with WNV will die (Washington State Department of Agriculture).

WNV can affect people, horses, birds, and other animals.  There is no human vaccine for WNV.  The Kittitas County Public Health Department (KCPHD) does not have funding in regard to this vector borne disease; however, KCPHD conducts limited surveillance of birds and mosquitos.

For more information about West Nile virus, visit the DOH website at  For questions regarding WNV vaccine for horses, please contact your local veterinarian office.  For questions regarding the confirmed horse case, please contact the Kittitas County Public Health Department at 509-962-7515.

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Kasey Knutson, Public Information Officer, 509-962-7515