West Nile Virus: University of California Video Warns Horse Owners of Disease Risk

by Fran Jurga | 1 June 2009 | The Jurga Report

With an estimated 75 percent of the state’s horses vaccinated against West Nile virus, you might think that the veterinarians and equine extension specialists at the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine would be patting themselves on the back for a job well done. In the state with as many horses as many other states combined, vaccinating over a half million horses is an incredible achievement.

And you can do the math on the financial impact!

But that’s not the message of this dramatic video from the vet school. They’d like to see every horse in the state be vaccinated, including foals as young as three months. California’s message is clearly that controlling West Nile virus in horses is a possibility.

Only mosquito-friendly Washington state had more cases of West Nile virus than California last year and this year’s prevalence is largely dependent on weather conducive to heavy mosquito breeding, the spread of the disease by hosts, and the number of horses that are vaccinated.

Thanks to UCDavis for making it possible to post this video.

PS As a naturally curious person, I wonder about the impact of West Nile virus on the wild horse and burro population. Does anyone know?




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