Horse Owners Urged to Vaccinate

Bronson Urges Horse Owners to Vaccinate Animals for Mosquito-Borne Diseases; Recommends That Humans Take Steps to Protect Themselves

TALLAHASSEE — With the arrival of spring and warmer weather, Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today reminded horse owners to get their animals vaccinated for mosquito borne diseases.

The two principal equine diseases associated with mosquitoes are Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV), and the majority of cases of each can be prevented with proper vaccinations, according to animal health officials.

“The key is to make sure that a horse has been vaccinated against these mosquito-borne diseases and to check with your veterinarian to determine whether an animal’s booster shots are up to date,” Bronson said.

So far this year, Florida has no equine cases of EEE or WNV, but that can change quickly as mosquito populations increase significantly with the warmer weather and can explode in areas with heavy rains and standing water.

Humans, too, need to minimize their contact with mosquitoes as mosquitoes remain the largest carrier of diseases that afflict people.

Toward that end, Bronson is recommending that Floridians:

— Remove standing water from their property by emptying out stagnant water from kiddie pools, old tires, birdbaths and any other receptacle that holds water.

— Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside around dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

— Use a good mosquito repellent.

Terence McElroy

(850) 488-3022

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