Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: mosquitoes

West Nile Virus in Ontario horses

Posted in Horses
Two Ontario horses have recently been diagnosed with West Nile virus infection, prompting the equine health advisory below from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs. That’s not too surprising, as now is the typical time of year that we start seeing this mosquito-borne infection in Ontario. West Nile numbers in both humans and… Continue Reading

Why Do Zika and Other Mosquito-Borne Viruses Only Occur in Specific Areas?

Posted in Other animals
When I got into vet school, I didn’t imagine that I’d have to know much about mosquito biology. (I probably didn’t really imagine that when I graduated either, to tell the truth). However, as I focused on infectious diseases, it became apparent that understanding certain aspects of inner-workings of mosquitoes (and ticks, and various other… Continue Reading

Cache Valley Virus in Dogs (and People)

Posted in Dogs, Other animals
Cache Valley Virus (CVV) has been in the news around here lately. This mosquito-borne virus can be found in various parts of North America, particularly in the southeastern US. It’s been present in Ontario for a while, but has hit the news recently because of a recent outbreak in sheep flocks in the province. CVV infection… Continue Reading

Zika virus and animals

Posted in Other animals
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Zika virus and animals. It’s great to see that people are thinking more broadly about infectious diseases (but it isn’t doing much for my productivity this week). To recap, Zika virus is a mosquito-borne virus related to West Nile virus and dengue virus. Most people that are… Continue Reading

St. Louis encephalitis in a horse

Posted in Horses
Hopefully we can chalk this one up on the "weird and not-so-wonderful" list, and not have it emerge as a significant problem. However, there’s something new to pay attention to as St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) infection was recently identified in a Brazilian horse with neurological clinical signs. SLEV is a Flavivirus and a relative… Continue Reading

West Nile virus in Colorado

Posted in Horses
It’s that time of year again… at least in some areas. West Nile virus (WNV) infection has been identified in a horse in Colorado. It’s not really a surprise. West Nile virus is one of those pathogens that we know is coming back every year, we just don’t know exactly when. The date of return… Continue Reading

EEE in Florida horse

Posted in Horses
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… Continue Reading

The ongoing heartworm controversy

Posted in Dogs
The American Heartworm Society (AHS) recently issued a release emphasizing that "Contrary to what owners may think, heartworm disease is a year-round threat" and encouraging people to use heartworm preventive medications year round. I’m in Canada, not the US, but some US regions have a similar climate and similar issues to us. Also, some people… Continue Reading

Eastern Equine Encephalitis alert: Ontario

Posted in Horses
‘Tis the season… Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) is a very serious disease that’s fortunately rare in Ontario, but when it happens, it’s bad news. It’s a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes (similar to West Nile virus), and we often see a couple of horses affected every year, usually starting around now (late August) and extending… Continue Reading

Banner year for West Nile virus

Posted in Cats
After being a relatively rare problem in most regions over the past few years, West Nile virus (WNV) case numbers have boomed lately, with large outbreaks in some US states. Canada Forty-nine (49) confirmed or probable human cases have been reported in Ontario, the largest number in a decade. Considering we’re just heading into the… Continue Reading

Eastern Equine encephalitis alert: Ontario

Posted in Horses
If I was reincarnated as a mosquito, I’d want to live where I do now (convenient, eh?). I live in the country surrounded by areas of "protected wetland," which, in many cases, is a fancy word for swamp. I try to avoid mosquitoes, but getting bitten is a regular (daily) event. As I was getting swarmed… Continue Reading

Early West Nile virus case in Pennsylvania horse?

Posted in Horses
Local media are reporting an apparent case of West Nile virus infection in a horse in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. This is surprising since, while I know there are certainly mosquitoes emerging early with this mild weather, seeing active mosquito-borne infections at this time of year would be very unusual. That’s particularly the case with West… Continue Reading

Hitch-hiking mosquitoes and emerging diseases

Posted in Horses
Authorities in Hawaii are advising people in Oahu to eliminate standing water as a mosquito control measure. While it’s always a good idea, it’s of particular concern in this case bacause a rare type of mosquito, Aedes aegypti, was found around the Honolulu International Airport. This mosquito species is a highly effective vector for various… Continue Reading

Early spring and heartworm questions

Posted in Dogs
We’ve had a really bizarre spring around here. At a time of year when we’re usually bouncing back and forth between snow and rain, we seem to have skipped over spring and moved right into summer. It was 25 C (77F) today, the snow’s long gone, frogs are deafening at night and, on the bad… Continue Reading

More Mosquito-Borne Mayhem

Posted in equIDblog
The mosquito-borne diseases eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile (WNV) continue to rear their ugly heads in the northeast as we get further into the late summer season during which they are most common. On August 13 there was an unconfirmed report of a case of West Nile in a horse at Woodbine Racetrack,… Continue Reading

West Nile Warnings

Posted in equIDblog
Following on the heels of the beginning of the start eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) season, warnings are going out about another mosquito-borne disease in parts of North America, West Nile virus (WNV) encephalitis. While mosquitoes have been swarming around here for months, WNV only becomes a real concern in southwestern Ontario starting in mid-to-late August.… Continue Reading

West Nile virus in dogs and cats

Posted in Cats, Dogs, Other diseases
One thing that has become very clear around my house the past few days is that mosquito season has arrived. Along with the annoyance, buzzing and itching, mosquitoes are of concern because they can transmit various viruses, including West Nile virus. While West Nile season tends to be later in the summer and fall in… Continue Reading