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Fort Dodge's 'Mosquito Shot' Offers Convenient Protection Against Dangerous Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE) in Florida is a strong reminder to horse owners throughout the country to vaccinate their horses against this and other dangerous mosquito-borne diseases. To ensure your horse receives the most complete protection, Fort Dodge Animal Health offers West Nile- Innovator(R)+EWT -- "The Mosquito Shot," the only vaccine that protects against West Nile virus, EEE and Western Equine Encephalomyelitis, plus tetanus, in one convenient vaccine.

This year has already seen the death of five Florida horses diagnosed with EEE, which has a mortality rate in horses of 75 to 90 percent. According to the Florida Association of Equine Practitioners Web site, "If the wet weather (in Florida) persists, 2008 could see a significant number of cases, such as occurred in 2003, when 207 cases of EEE were confirmed (in Florida)."

Florida, however, is only one of the many areas of the country that will likely see horses infected with mosquito-borne illnesses. EEE was diagnosed in 199 horses throughout the country in 2007 and West Nile virus, which also remains a serious threat to horses, was reported in 488 horses in 33 states, including both coasts.

"There's been a reduction in veterinary vaccination in horses against mosquito-borne diseases and whenever that occurs, you can expect to see a resurgence of disease because part of the horse population is not protected," says Tom Lenz, DVM, Vice President of Professional Services at Fort Dodge Animal Health. "Even though they may not currently be headlining the news, it is more important than ever people vaccinate their horses against West Nile virus and Eastern and Western Encephalomyelitis."

The American Association of Equine Practitioners recognizes the importance of vaccination against these mosquito-borne illnesses, and has identified West Nile virus, EEE and WEE among five diseases in a "core vaccination protocol" for adult horses. Also included were tetanus and rabies. Fort Dodge's Mosquito Shot is the only product on the market that protects against four of the five core diseases in one vaccine.

For previously vaccinated horses, the Mosquito Shot is labeled for a single dose annually and is best administered in the spring. Horses that have never been vaccinated against West Nile virus must receive two doses, three to six weeks apart.

Three convenient combinations -- West Nile-Innovator(R)+EW, West Nile- Innovator(R)+EWT and West Nile-Innovator(R)+VEWT -- make it easy to customize protection for every patient. As with all vaccine protocols, horse owners should consult with their veterinarian to evaluate threat levels in their area and determine their horse's current vaccination status to ensure they will have maximum protection.

Fort Dodge Animal Health is a leading global manufacturer of animal health products for the equine, livestock, companion animal, swine and poultry industries. Key equine products include West Nile-Innovator and Innovator(R) combination vaccines, Fluvac Innovator(R) vaccines, and QUEST(R) and QUEST(R) Plus Gel.

SOURCE Fort Dodge Animal Health
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