As you check the weather on a daily basis to find out if this wacky winter promises snow or sun, West Nile Virus might be the furthest thing from your mind.
But the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture warns warm weather is closer than you think and it’s time to start considering prevention. Especially if you own a horse.
Equine encephalitic diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes and cause inflammation of the brain. And mosquitoes will get more active as the weather warms up. The typical season for the Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis horse vaccine comes around February and March, but that vaccine doesn’t prevent West Nile.
The best bet is reducing the risk of exposure — something everyone can do.
Anything that holds water can be a potential breeding ground, so empty recycling buckets, clear gutters if for some reason your baby pool is set up in the yard, turn it over.
West Nile is such a concern in the state that the virus even has its own website. You can report issues there.