Now I realize snakes have their place in the world, namely keeping down rodents, but now when I see one it will make me think twice.
TheHorse.com just put out an interesting article on snakes carrying equine encephalitis virus. The article, written by Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc, basically said infected mosquitos bite the snakes and then when winter comes, the mosquito dies while the snakes become dormant. In the spring, mosquitos bite the snake become infected with equine encephalitis and then bite a horse, infecting the horse. One thing that made so much sense is that water snakes (namely moccasins) were some of the strongest carriers – if the mosquitos breed in water, they will be hungry and search out the first thing they find: snakes!
Remember, so much of this could be prevented – vaccinate!