May ’16
5
5:30 pm

Concerned about protecting your horse from mosquito-borne viruses? Register today for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension’s Free Workshop for Tarrant County Horse Owners on Thursday, May 5th from 5:30 to 9pm.  The workshop, provided by the Tarrant County Extension Horse Committee and sponsored by Russell Feed & Supply, will be held at Russell Hall, 5710 Jacksboro Hwy in Fort Worth. There is no fee to attend but you must pre-register online by 12 Noon on Wednesday, May 4th.  Please contact the Tarrant County AgriLife Extension Office at 817-884-1945 with any questions.

What are the Direct and Indirect Effects of Mosquito-Borne Viruses?

Mosquitoes affect people and animals either directly or indirectly. The direct effects? When mosquito species feed on blood which annoys people, birds, mammals, and other vertebrates. Mosquitoes disrupt outdoor work and recreational activities. If enough mosquitoes are in an area, they can cause severe blood loss and slow the growth of livestock. The bites often cause mild allergic reactions such as swelling and itching, which may continue to affect the hosts long after the female mosquitoes have gone. Although some people may react more strongly to the bites, severe reactions are uncommon. Mosquitoes indirectly affect people and animals when they transmit disease-causing agents. Each year worldwide, mosquitoes affect millions of people by transmitting the pathogens that cause several serious diseases. Some of these mosquito-borne pathogens were once common in the United States; others appear occasionally because of international travel. The most common of these in Texas are West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, and dengue virus.

Mosquitoes indirectly affect people and animals when they transmit disease-causing agents. Each year worldwide, mosquitoes affect millions of people by transmitting the pathogens that cause several serious diseases. Some of these mosquito-borne pathogens were once common in the United States; others appear occasionally because of international travel. The most common of these in Texas are West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, and dengue virus.

Mosquitoes indirectly affect people and animals when they transmit disease-causing agents. Each year worldwide, mosquitoes affect millions of people by transmitting the pathogens that cause several serious diseases. Some of these mosquito-borne pathogens were once common in the United States; others appear occasionally because of international travel. The most common of these in Texas are West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, and dengue virus. The potential for Zika and chikungunya viruses to be introduced and established in Texas remains unknown. Mosquitoes also commonly transmit heartworm to dogs and cats, particularly in the humid areas of Texas. Dog heartworm, a type of parasitic roundworm, is a serious disease, especially for dogs.  Dog heartworm, a type of parasitic roundworm, is a serious disease, especially for dogs. Symptoms include cough, weight loss, fainting, coughing up blood, and eventually congestive heart failure. Mosquito-borne diseases

Encephalitis Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain caused by certain viruses, some of which are transmitted by mosquitoes. Human cases of encephalitis range from unapparent or mild cases to very severe illnesses that can permanently damage the central nervous system or, in some instances, cause death. Symptoms include high fever, convulsions, delirium and other central nervous system problems. If these symptoms occur, seek medical assistance quickly.

These encephalitis viruses cause concern to the people and horses in Texas: West Nile virus, eastern equine encephalitis virus, western equine encephalitis virus, and St. Louis encephalitis virus. These viruses are normally transmitted from bird to mosquito to bird and sometimes from bird to mosquito to human. West Nile and equine viruses can also be transmitted from bird to mosquito to horse. When the incidence of any of these viruses increases in the bird populations, it becomes more likely that people and horses will be infected.  These diseases become a problem when transmitted to humans, horses, or other equines such as donkeys or mules.

Pet and horse owners should make mosquito control a high priority. Because it is very difficult to protect dogs and cats from mosquitoes, the most effective way to control heartworm is to prevent the worms from reaching the adult stage. Veterinarians can prescribe drugs to protect dogs during the mosquito season, which is year round in Texas. Contact your doctor if you develop symptoms of any of these diseases. Current information on human diseases is tracked by the Centers for Disease Control. Your veterinarian can recommend management strategies for animal diseases.

Source: Sonja L. Swiger, Assistant Professor and Extension Entomologist The Texas A&M University System

Mosquito-Borne Viruses

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