Both of these viruses involve a complicated transmission cycle between mosquitoes and birds. Certain mosquitoes can acquire the virus from an infected bird and potentially infect horses and humans. Visit the Environmental Protection Agency website for detailed pictures and illustrations of the mosquito’s life cycle and habitat.
Protection from mosquito bites requires responsible decisions on the part of every citizen. The following guidelines should be followed to reduce the risk of mosquito bites.
The very young, elderly, and persons with lowered immune systems have the highest risk for acquiring disease from mosquito bites. These individuals should use extra precaution.
Protecting Your Horses
While there currently are no vaccines available to protect humans from mosquito borne viruses, there are vaccines available to protect horses. These vaccines are available for both EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) (PDF) and WNV (West Nile Virus). It is recommended that horses be vaccinated annually. Check with your veterinarian on the proper procedure for getting them vaccinated.