WEE is caused by the western equine encephalitis virus, which is one of a group of viruses called arboviruses. In the United States, these viruses are usually spread by infected mosquitoes.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Some factors thought to increase the risk of WEE include:
- Living in or visiting the plains regions of the western and central United States
- Working outdoors
- Participating in outdoor activities