Western Equine Encephalomyelitis

Western equine encephalitis, also called WEE, is a mosquito-borne illness that can infect people and horses from a biting mosquito carrying the virus. The Culex tarsalis mosquito species in the United States carries WEE, spreading the virus back and forth between birds and mosquitos, which don't become ill by just carrying the virus. The most common time frame for people and horses to become infected with Western equine encephalitis is mid-summer to early fall.

Infections from Western equine encephalitis can occur almost anywhere in the United States or Canada. Infected mosquitos with WEE tend to appear in larger numbers in cycles. However, the number of reported cases of WEE in the United States has dropped in the past few decades. Some people infected with WEE will not even know they have become infected, as the symptoms are extremely mild.

A more serious version of the virus may begin with a slight fever and headache. Should the illness progress and become stronger, victims suffer from stiff necks, strong headaches, high fevers, disorientation and seizures. Those who eventually develop full blown encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain, could fall into a coma and eventually die. Infants and elderly people are more likely to develop encephalitis than others. Infants who develop a serious case of Western equine encephalitis could suffer brain damage.

No vaccine exists that can prevent people from becoming infected with WEE. Because of the lack of preventative medication, the best way to protect yourself from becoming infected with this virus is to avoid being bitten by infected mosquitos. To reduce the number of mosquitos in your backyard and neighborhood, remove any objects that collect standing water, where mosquitos lay eggs.

Additionally, you can make use of MosquitoNix® products that offer the ability to reduce the number of mosquitos in the area. We offer effective mosquito control services, products and treatments for both residential and commercial customers. Contact our professional and friendly customer service personnel to figure out which preventative treatments will work best for your situation.