Mosquito-Borne Horse Diseases Update

Many equine health professionals are worried that because of the economic recession that's lasted more than a year, many horses are either not vaccinated or are under-vaccinated to protect them agasint common diseases.

According to the USDA, as of Sept. 3, there have been 193 cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and 64 cases of West Nile virus (WNV). Last year there were 185 cases of EEE and 178 cases of West Nile virus.

Florida leads the way in EEE cases this year with 64, followed by Georgia with 36 and Mississippi with 19.

Washington state leads in number of West Nile virus cases this year with 23.

In 2008, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Infectious Disease Committee released a revised online version of their "Guidelines for the Vaccination of Horses."

Developing a vaccination schedule is not as straightforward as it sounds. So much of what you should vaccinate for depends upon such factors as where you live, how often your horse travels, how old he is, his vaccination history, and what infectious diseases he might encounter. The full guidelines, for adults and foals, are available at

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides weekly reports of arbovirus case information from its ArboNET reporting system. Access these reports through the USDA Animal Health Monitoring and Surveillance Web site.

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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