Inspections of horses are being stepped up along Mexico's border with Belize to prevent animals infected with equine encephalitis from entering the country, the Agriculture Secretariat said.

The "preventive measures are being taken on the southern border strip" due to outbreaks of the highly contagious disease in two areas, the secretariat said.

Officials have sent National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, specialists to the border region to help identify the viral strain involved, the secretariat said.

Animals susceptible to infection will be vaccinated under the Binational Strategic Cooperation Plan for Health Matters and Trade, the Agriculture Secretariat said.

Epidemiological monitoring in the region has been expanded and horse owners have been asked to notify officials if any animal begins exhibiting neurological problems, the secretariat said.

Suspicious cases in vulnerable equine populations are being investigated in southern Mexico, the secretariat said. EFE