More information about West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, including Eastern equine encephalitis, is available in the news releases listed below. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus for protecting against mosquitoes. This is in addition to DEET, long known to be effective. Further information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/RepellentUpdates.htm. To lessen risk of diseases that mosquitoes spread, eliminate all standing water to remove mosquito breeding ground, use mosquito repellent, and vaccinate your horses.
For up-to-date statistics on number of West Nile cases please visit Center for Disease Control West Nile Virus Update.
Protecting pets against insect-borne diseases
Dogs and cats are unlikely to become ill if exposed to West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes, according to Purdue University veterinarians. But it's important to protect pets from insect bites because they can be infected with other diseases.
Owners should use pet-approved tick and flea controls and limit pets' exposure to areas infested by mosquitoes, ticks and fleas, said Lynn Guptill, Purdue small animal veterinarian. Pets can become ill if sprayed with repellent formulated for human use, she said.
"Though the most effective repellents for people are those with diethyl-meta-toluamide (DEET), this can make pets sick," Guptill said. "Only use products approved for pets."
In addition, some flea collars, sprays and oral medications are specifically for a dog or specifically for a cat and can't be used interchangeably.
Although evidence of West Nile can be found in pets' blood, other tick-borne illnesses, such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and mosquito- or flea-borne diseases, such as heartworm, are the ones that sicken pets, Guptill said.
CONTACT: Lynn Guptill, (765) 494-1107, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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