Vaccinate Horses to Protect Against EEE, West Nile

Studies have shown that vaccines can be effective in reducing the risk of horses contracting both EEE and WNV when administered appropriately. Here’s why you should vaccinate your horses.
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protect horses against eee west nile
Studies have shown that vaccines can be effective in reducing the risk of horses contracting both EEE and WNV when administered appropriately. | Photo: The Horse Staff

Spring has sprung in Virginia, and as temperatures rise, so does the risk of mosquito-borne disease. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) is encouraging owners to talk to their veterinarians about vaccinating to protect horses against Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile virus (WNV). 

In 2018, Virginia had two cases of confirmed WNV cases and eight confirmed EEE cases in horses in that state.

“The mortality rate for WNV is 30 percent and up to 90 percent for EEE,” said Charlie Broaddus, DVM, VDACS state veterinarian. “Vaccinations for WNV and EEE are highly effective in minimizing disease, if given appropriately

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Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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