Fort Dodge has launched a new website that aims to providea complete information resource on the potentially fatal West Nile virus, for both veterinary staff and for horse owners.
The site – www.westnile.eu – comes in response to growing concerns about the risks of an outbreak of West Nile virus in Europe. It explains the disease and charts its history and geographic spread to date. It also provides information on its vector, the mosquito, as well as giving detailed insights and the latest thinking on disease prevention and control strategies.
Visitors to the site are invited to participate in a confidential survey that will help build a picture of the current level of awareness and understanding of the disease within Europe’s equestrian community.
West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus transmitted by mosquitoes, including the Culex, Aedes and Anopheles species, which circulate in Europe. The reservoir hosts are birds, with wild birds believed to spread the disease during migration.
The most recent outbreak in Europe, which affected over 70 horses, was in the northern province of Ferrara in Italy.
Helen Barnes, EMEA equine business manager at Fort Dodge, said: “West Nile Virus presents an increasing threat to the equestrian sector in Europe as there is little current immunity among the equine population. Education is the key to effective prevention and this is something we take very seriously. We want to ensure that all those involved in owning or caring for horses have access to the information they need to protect their horses.”