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HomeAg NewsWest Nile Virus Still a Threat to Horses Despite Drought

West Nile Virus Still a Threat to Horses Despite Drought

While much of the western U.S. endures widespread drought, people may think mosquito season won’t be as intense. However, just because there’s no rain doesn’t mean there are no mosquitoes. “Some of the most significant West Nile outbreaks have happened without significant rainfall,” says Dr. Justin Talley, Head of Entomology and Plant Pathology at Oklahoma State University. “Just because you don’t see water doesn’t mean there are no breeding areas around.” He shared four tips for protecting horses from West Nile Virus. The first is to vaccinate your horses. Number two is hanging high-powered livestock fans. Third, get rid of as much standing water as possible and clean the horses’ water sources once a week. The last is to minimize a horse’s exposure during mosquito feeding times at dusk and dawn. The disease can attack and inflame a horse’s nervous system and is spread by mosquitoes after feeding on infected birds and rodents.

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