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Risk to UK Horses Investigated Following West Nile Disease Outbreak

22 September 2015

UK - Two cases of West Nile Disease were reported in the Bouches de Rhone region of France last month, prompting a DEFRA-led report on the risk to the UK's equine population.

This is the first time the vector-borne West Nile Disease has reached France in nine years. Disease control measures are in place and the DEFRA report highlighted that the French cases do not increase of West Nile Disease in the UK.

BEVA President Mark Bowen echoed this: "The recent outbreaks of West Nile Virus in Southern France are a reminder of the importance of exotic disease awareness amongst the veterinary profession. West Nile virus is a seasonal vector borne disease transmitted from wild birds by mosquitos. Although the risk to the native UK horse population remains low, targeted vaccination of competition horses travelling to southern Europe should be considered."

The full DEFRA report is available here

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