Study: Thailand’s African Horse Sickness Outbreak Likely Started From Just One Animal

Scientists have found that the 2020 outbreak of African Horse Sickness in Thailand most likely came from just one affected animal entering the country. Hundreds of horses were killed in the country’s first outbreak of the disease, which is spread by biting midges.

Dr. Napawan Bunpapong and a research team from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok used molecular-based testing to help determine the disease’s origin. They discovered that every blood and tissue sample taken from affected horses in Thailand contained the virus, and more specifically, contained unique amino acids, indicating a single, common origin. The researchers suggest that the virus may have come from an asymptomatic animal like a zebra.

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The government of Thailand restricted movement and enforced quarantine, disinfection and vector control to try to staunch the spread of the disease. Mass vaccination was also completed in Thailand and neighboring countries.

Affected horses had a fever and swelling near their eyes; they became depressed and short of breath before dying suddenly within 48 hours.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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