Time to Vaccinate Horses against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Massachusetts officials are reminding horse owners that annual vaccinations should be administered during this time of year to ensure animals are protected prior to the peak arboviral season.
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With the mosquito season approaching, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (DAR) officials are advising horse owners to take steps to protect animals against mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

The DAR reminds horse owners that annual vaccines should be administered during this time of year to ensure animals are protected prior to the peak arboviral season, beginning  in Massachusetts in late July and August. Owners are urged not to wait until positive cases are reported in their area, since it can take several weeks for an animal to be fully protected by a vaccine.

"It is important to stay a step ahead of these diseases and administering vaccinations in a timely manner is the best way to protect our equine population," said DAR Commissioner Greg Watson.

Both WNV and EEE pose serious risks to horses and other equids, sometimes causing neurologic symptoms that can lead to death. There were two confirmed equine WNV cases and four equine EEE cases in Massachusetts in 2013

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