Equine Influenza Cases Still Rising In Britain

Equine Influenza (EI) continues to rise in Britain, with more than 200 confirmed cases so far this year. There were only two outbreaks reported in all of 2018.

The Animal Health Trust’s Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, Dr. Richard Newton, said the increased movement of horses to and from events and competitions is contributing to the uptick in cases.

The latest three cases were in West Yorkshire and West Midlands in non-Thoroughbred horses with an unconfirmed vaccination history. The horses presented with a fever, nasal discharge and coughing; several other horses were also showing clinical signs of illness.

EI was also confirmed in Pembrokeshire in two unvaccinated non-Thoroughbreds. Five other horses have been in contact with the confirmed horses and an additional two horses are showing signs of EI.

It is expected that EI cases will continue to rise in coming weeks. Event organizers are encouraged to make vaccination mandatory and check passports for vaccination history. Horse owners are encouraged to remain vigilant when looking for clinical signs of the flu and to booster horse’s shots every six months. Good biosecurity practices, like quarantining new arrivals as well as horses returning from shows, is recommended.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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