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NC equine owners urged to talk about vaccination

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Horse owners across North Carolina are being advised to discuss their annual vaccination procedures with their veterinarians to protect their animals from mosquito-borne diseases.

More mosquitoes are expected this year because of the warmer-than-normal winter. Officials don't know for sure if that will mean an uptick in mosquito-borne viruses or if disease transmission will start earlier in the season.

State Veterinarian David Marshall says common sense would dictate being extra vigilant since the diseases are so easily preventable. He says in addition to vaccinations, people should rid their yards and pastures of standing water to reduce the risk.

West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis are endemic in the state and can cause illness or death, but can be prevented with a sequence of two vaccines.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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