DON’T WAIT VACCINATE In October 2003, West Nile Virus was diagnosed for the first time in a horse in California. Today, West Nile Virus is considered endemic in California. Last year San Benito County suffered its first equine West Nile Virus fatality since 2006. This horse had not been vaccinated. Vaccination and mosquito control minimize the risk of your horse contracting West Nile Virus. The American Association of Equine Practitioners recommends incorporation of a West Nile Virus vaccine as an annual core vaccination in equine vaccination protocols. Consult with your Veterinarian to ensure your horse’s West Nile Virus vaccination is up to date.
The West Nile Virus Cycle You can also minimize your horse’s exposure to West Nile Virus by using an insect repellant and eliminating mosquito breeding sites. Methods to eliminate mosquito breeding sites include:
• Draining unnecessary standing water found in wheelbarrows, tires, etc. • Cleaning water containers at least weekly (especially bird baths, fountains or plant saucers).
• Scheduling pasture irrigation to minimize standing water.
• Using Mosquito “Dunks” in water troughs that are unable to be cleaned weekly or stock troughs with mosquito fish.
If you need mosquito fish contact the San Benito County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office at (831) 637-5344. We know West Nile Virus is here – so Don’t Wait – Vaccinate!