A fungal disease called “swamp cancer” has been infecting, and killing, Chincoteague ponies. So the local fire department (it technically owns the horses) “last year turned to an experimental three-phase vaccine to inoculate the animals.”
And it seems to be working.
During the recent annual spring pony roundup for health checks on April 18, all 148 ponies and 12 foals showed no sign of the disease.
(Climate change has allowed the fungus — Pythium insidiosum — to move further north with the warmer weather, where it thrives in the warm marshes.)