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What is West Nile Virus?


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WEST NILE VIRUS CHANGED TO ENDEMIC DISEASE STATUS; FEES WILL BE CHARGED FOR SOME WNV TESTING-Government veterinary officials recently designated West Nile virus (WNV) as an endemic disease in the United States. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Services previously had considered WNV a Foreign Animal Disease, since it had never been detected in the United States prior to 1999. The designation should help the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, focus more resources on testing suspect cases of equine and ovine diseases not considered endemic in the country. MORE...

WARMTH MAY FEED WEST NILE VIRUS -Global warming means more than just more-severe sunburns and faster-melting polar ice caps. With traces of the West Nile virus turning up in breast milk, at blood banks and in donated organs, health researchers are focusing with greater determination on global warming's contribution to how widely and rapidly the disease spreads. And, they warn, the current outbreak could be just a foretaste of the insect-borne viral epidemics to come...MORE...

WEST NILE VIRUS VACCINATION IN MARES AND FOALS There were 14,358 reported equine cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in the United States in 2002 by Dec. 1 according to the USDA, and many broodmares were exposed to the virus even if not clinically affected. As the country begins its fifth year of handling the disease, broodmare owners have many questions about how to vaccinate mares and foals appropriately. MORE...

WNV VACCINATION PROGRAM On Nov. 3, the Florida Equine Practice Committee met in Ocala, Fla. One of the main topics of discussion was the protocol for using the West Nile virus equine vaccine manufactured by Fort Dodge Animal Health. MORE...

For archived stories on WNV, visit


Yu-Wei Chiang, MS, PhD, of Fort Dodge Animal Health and one of the authors of the recently released West Nile virus vaccine challenge study, recently answered some questions about the study and its results. Learn more about what the study means for the equine industry.

Additional state updates and daily developments on WNV at ============================================================

HAVING A WEST NILE VIRUS EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR? Find all the background information you need and updates on WNV at The data includes an up-to-date U.S. map showing WNV infection, and a comprehensive list of state WNV contacts. Also, look for "West Nile Virus Alert!" in the October issue of The Horse, which mailed to magazine subscribers late last week and is now available on newsstands. (Find a retail outlet at or call us at 800/582-5604.) This sixteen-page article gives information from the experts on the virus, which has changed the way we care for our horses over the past three years. Diagrams, mosquito control tips, and maps reinforce the article's goal: To inform horse owners of the history and clinical signs of the disease, and to tell them how to protect their equine friends.

Distributable West Nile Virus Brochure

The American Veterinary Medical Association offers a brochure for veterinarians with basic facts about WNV and resulting disease, and how to help clients and the public better understand and avoid infection. For more information, prices, and to view a copy, visit


RELATED SITE: CDC West Nile Virus Home Page


The Path of WNV in Canada

Horse owners in Canada are becoming just as wary of the neurological disease WNV as their U.S. neighbors. The virus has already affected at least ten horses in the Manitoba province, and officials are recommending mosquito control techniques and equine vaccination. More...

More WNV news: For more information on WNV, an up-to-date U.S. map showing WNV infection, and a comprehensive list of state WNV contacts, visit Find out more about West Nile virus on our site at What is West Nile Virus?

Older News...

U.S. Officials Urge Steps Against West Nile Virus(click link to left to read)



Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and Western equine encephalitis (WEE) are mosquito-borne viral diseases that primarily affect horses east and west of the Mississippi River, as their names imply. Because of the zoonotic nature of EEE and WEE (their ability to cause disease in humans and horses), and the unusual occurrence of EEE cases in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota during 2001, all horses in the continental United States should be vaccinated for these diseases, according to authors of an article in the April 2002 issue of Equine Disease Quarterly. The full article in Equine Disease Quarterly with maps is available here.

AAEP HEALTH LINK: LYME DISEASE With the summer approaching hastily, we also expect the onset of tick season. Lyme disease is a bacterial illness caused by the spirochetal (corkscrew-shaped) bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. It is most commonly transmitted by the bite of infected ticks, usually those referred to as "deer ticks" or "black legged ticks." To read more on how you can protect your horse from this disease, visit and click on the horse health link to the left of the page. Use the "Want To Know?" dropdown menu to locate the article in the diseases category.

And don't forget, for 100% Natural, Effective protection against Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus and more, be sure and order Equine Fly Stop here or at our mini-site, here.

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