Free West Nile Virus Webinar Tonight, Sign Up Now

It's been 10 years since West Nile virus was introduced into the United States, and thousands of horses across North America have been ill or died due to this disease. Find out how to protect your horses!

Our next free Webinar, "West Nile Virus: Reality Check!" will take place tonight at 8 p.m. ET. This Webinar is sponsored Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health and features presenter Steve Reed, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Ky.

You can sign up for this FREE Webinar at TheHorse.com/Webinars. Your registration allows you to watch the video presentation and ask questions live during the presentation, or you can submit your questions via e-mail prior to the Webinar to be answered during the live event.

This free Webinar "West Nile Virus: Reality Check!" is presented by Dr. Reed, formerly of The Ohio State University. Reed has had a long career of experience with neurologic diseases. Recently, he was honored at the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) Convention as the keynote presenter of the prestigious Frank J. Milne State-of-the-Art Lecture. His topic was equine neurology, including rabies and West Nile virus.

He will be assisted in answering questions by Wendy Vaala, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, an Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health equine technical services specialist and a former private practitioner.

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More About West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) causes a potentially fatal encephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord) in a variety of mammals such as birds, horses, and humans. While long recognized in Africa, Eastern Europe, West Asia, and elsewhere, WNV was first diagnosed in North America in 1999. Since then the disease has spread rapidly throughout the continent.

WNV is maintained in the wild bird population and is spread between birds by biting mosquitoes. Humans and horses become infected after being bitten by mosquitoes that became infected with the WNV by feeding on infected birds. The virus enters the horse's bloodstream and spreads to the spinal cord and brain causing a widespread inflammation. Clinical signs of disease typically present within three to 15 days of the animal being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Horses and humans are considered to be dead-end hosts of the West Nile virus and, therefore, do not contribute to the transmission cycle. The virus is not directly transmitted from horse to horse or horse to human. Similarly, indirect transmission via mosquitoes from infected horses is highly unlikely because horses do not experience a significant viremia (i.e., they have negligible amounts of virus circulating in their blood).

Mechanical transmission of the virus, such as through a blood transfusion, is possible.

  • Did you know in June 2009 a WNV lineage 2 was discovered to cause fatal neurologic disease in South African horses (read more from the CDC)? This strain was previously thought to only affect humans and mice.
  • Did you know as of July 21, 2009, WNV was found in humans, animals, or insects in at least 24 states?
  • Did you know in 2008 there were 1,356 cases of human WNV? In 2007 there were 3,630 human cases!

For more information on "West Nile Virus: Reality Check!" sign up now.  

Any questions about Webinars can be directed to THWebinars@TheHorse.com.  

System Requirements:

  • 256 megabytes (MB) of RAM; 512 MB recommended.
  • Broadband Internet connection or access to a high-speed network highly recommended.
  • Speakers/headphones on your computer to hear the audio.
  • Flash Player 8 or higher.

More requirements can be found at TheHorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=8419#V4.  

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.

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