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Zika and horses: What you need to know about mosquito-borne diseases

Zika and horses: What you need to know about mosquito-borne diseases

Mosquito-borne diseases are on the rise.

News spreads fast now-a-days. Trouble is, so does a lot of misinformation, especially about potentially life-threatening developments like the Zika virus.

"We don't yet have information to suggest that horses become infected with Zika or develop disease, and there are certainly horses present in many parts of the world where Zika virus is present," says Martha Mallicote, a large animal veterinarian at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"Most of the human cases that have occurred in the U.S. have been related to travel or intimate contact with someone infected," she explains. "Theoretically, the conditions are not right for Zika to be an endemic disease here in the U.S., but it would be dangerous to think that it could never happen. The risk for horses to become infected seems fairly minute at this point, and the concern for human infections is much more important."

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t protect your horses from mosquito-borne diseases. There are three mosquito-borne diseases that every horse owner should recognize and vaccinate against: eastern equine encephalitis, western equine encephalitis and West Nile virus.

Click here to read more about mosquito-borne diseases in horses.

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