Other veterinarians not affiliated with vaccine companies, such as those practitioners in northwestern New York state and
in other areas experiencing PHF outbreaks this year, tend to agree. This year has seen conditions that favor the development
and spread of PHF, and this disease is back. Clients in potentially susceptible areas or owners with horses traveling through
such areas should be advised to vaccinate with a product that will provide as much protection as possible. Veterinarians need
to be alert for potential cases of PHF and should be aware of the altered presentation possible in vaccinated horses.
Until it is officially eradicated, no disease ever really goes away. Conditions such as PHF, West Nile Virus and MRLS, which
depend on insect or parasite vectors, climactic conditions, and the number of vaccinated animals in the population, will increase
and decrease continually. It is important that veterinarians remain vigilant in the field and continually remind owners of
these diseases so that the proper management and treatment protocols can be taken.
Dr. Marcella, a 1983 graduate of Cornell University's veterinary college, was a professor of comparative medicine at the University
of Virginia. His interests include muscle problems in sport horses, rehabilitation and other performance issues.