Almost every summer in Florida, horses die due to diseases spread by mosquitos. Eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE) takes the lives of several horses in the Panhandle each year. West Nile Virus (WNV) is also a concern, but is not as common as EEE. Both can be prevented with vaccination, but if you have not already, it is time for a booster vaccine. Both EEE and WNV affect the nervous systems of horses.
As you can see in the following graph, we are headed into the time of year when the most cases are reported in Florida. The blue curve is the average number of cases reported by month over the past seven years. Three cases of EEE have already been reported in North Central Florida horses this year, and both diseases have been confirmed in sentinel chickens around the state this year.
|Recommended Vaccinations for Adult Horses in Florida|
|Eastern & Western Equine Encephalitis||2-3 times per year|
|West Nile Virus||Once annually|
|Equine Influenza||2-4 times per year|
|Equine herpesvirus (rhinopneumonitis)||2 times per year|
|Booster shots are required if horses have not been previously vaccinated to provide immunity.|