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Animal Health Experts Warn Horse Owners About Early Danger Signs of Widespread Mosquito-Borne Diseases
Date:9/7/2010

NEW YORK, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Animal health experts warn that fatal cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile are being reported in numerous states, even in areas where activity has been low for several years.  This follows a rise in the early warning signs of mosquito-borne diseases that include Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile and Western Equine Encephalitis.  This doesn't bode well for either horses or humans.

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To help prevent the spread of additional cases, Pfizer Animal Health and other health organizations are strongly encouraging horse owners and veterinarians to follow the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) guidelines for vaccinations against mosquito-borne diseases.

"If horses aren't vaccinated, this situation could become much worse," says Kevin Hankins, DVM, MBA, Equine Veterinary Services at Pfizer Animal Health.

States like Florida that monitor the development of mosquito-borne diseases through sentinel chickens are seeing an upsurge in the detection of Eastern Equine Encephalitis across the state, and in many areas that are not usually affected.  This is considered to be a serious warning that unvaccinated horses from across the country are at risk for contracting Eastern Equine Encephalitis as well as other mosquito-borne illnesses, particularly West Nile and Western Equine Encephalitis.

"Historically, we've seen Eastern Equine Encephalitis restricted to the south and southeast parts of the country," says Julie Wilson, DVM Diplomate ACVIM at the University of Minnesota.  "But we're now seeing many cases reported in northern regions that include Michigan, Massachusetts and up into Maine."  In addition, officials at the Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office have recently confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in Kentucky
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SOURCE Pfizer Inc.
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