Tack n' Talk

Online Equestrian Resource

Outbreak Alert – Equine Influenza

Outbreak Alert – Equine Influenza

On 7/26/2013, a case of Equine Influenza (EI) was reported in Portland, Oregon.  EI is one of the most common causes of respiratory disease in horsesand is highly contagious. Nearly 100 percent of horses that are exposed to EI become infected, with mortality rates ranging from 1 to 20 percent.Foals not protected by maternal antibodies may be at risk of developing a fatal viral pneumonia.

EI is a disease of the upper respiratory tract of the horse, with clinical signs that include fever, coughing, nasal discharge, depression and loss of appetite. Approximately 20 percent of infected horses do not exhibit signs, but are still capable of shedding the disease and putting other horses at risk.

The most common way EI enters a herd is through a newly introduced horse.While quarantining horses upon arrival can help decrease the risk of exposure, the disease also can be introduced via contaminated tack, blankets, clothing and other items.

In addition to isolation and disinfecting contaminated items, vaccination can be a valuable tool. Merial’s RECOMBITEK® Equine Influenza Virus vaccine provides a rapid immune response, significantly reduces viral shedding, protects horses from a broad range of influenza strains, and is safe for use in foals as young as 4 months of age. Following initial vaccination, which includes two doses five weeks apart, annual revaccination is recommended.

For more information about equine influenza or other equine diseases, talk with your veterinarian and go to www.outbreak-alert.com sponsored by Merial.

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