It’s hard to think about mosquito-borne disease season here at the moment, with temperatures in Ontario still going down to freezing, but the highly concerning disease eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been identified in a Marion County, Florida horse. This mosquito-borne virus causes highly fatal infection in both humans and horses. People don’t get it from horses, though – rather, people are exposed the same way horses are, by a bite from an infected mosquito.
Mosquito borne diseases vary quite a bit geographically, both in terms of where and when they occur. EEE is fortunately very rare around here, but it’s a bigger concern in other areas, particularly the southeastern US and US seaboard.
We won’t likely see mosquito borne diseases like EEE and West Nile virus infection in Ontario for a few months, but in other areas, the risk period has already begun. Knowing what diseases occur in your area, what diseases occur in areas your horse may visit, and when those diseases occur is important. That’s one of the reasons we recently launched the Worms & Germs Map. The location of the EEE case mentioned here can be found on that site.