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ILRC Animal Health Bulletin

West Nile Virus Update

October 2, 2002

We are now aware of several additional WNV suspicious llama and alpaca cases that are being monitored and studied. While there is ongoing investigation into the conditions of these animals, people are encouraged to not assign definite labels until there is a definite diagnoses supported by laboratory results. Until then, while we might have strong evidence to believe that there will be a WNV diagnosis, it should be considered presumptive, not definitive.

There is currently some ground work for WNV vaccine antigenic capability in camelids being done which may require industry funding. We will continue to report to you. Symptoms possibly indicating WNV in camelids might be confused with those exhibited in animals suffering from meningeal worm or lysteriosis, among other diseases. Clinical symptoms of WNV may include "downer" lama symptoms; contracture of the neck muscles; incoordination; lying down, seizures; and vocalizing in pain. In the recent alpaca case, the animal exhibited clinical signs for 3.5 days prior to death. Should you see any of these signs in your lamas, immediately contact your veterinarian for assistance and if appropriate, discuss the very specific tests necessary to confirm WNV. It is also recommended your veterinarian contact the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa regarding WNV testing.

We would appreciate hearing from you should you experience any of these problems at your farm as the ILRC is tracking WNV cases in camelids and monitoring development of treatment regimes and vaccines to share with the industry.

Dan Goodyear: Ph: 610-488-6666 email: BALDAN@aol.com

Marsharee Wilcox: Ph: 410-374-3783 email:evllamas@bellatlantic.net

Teri Nilson Baird: Ph: 303-646-4373 email:teri@brokenwindmill.com

Karen Conyngham: Ph: 512-328-8715 email: 72040.3361@compuserve.com

Susan Tellez: Ph: 409-866-0247 email: Sztellez@aol.com

David E Anderson, DVM, MS

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons

Associate Professor of Surgery, Food Animal

601 Vernon L Tharp Street

College of Veterinary Medicine

The Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio 43210


Phone: 614-292-6661

Fax: 614-292-3530