The California Department of Food and Agriculture has reported one confirmed case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in Kern County, Calif. The affected horse is a 9-year-old Quarter Horse stallion; transmission is suspected to be iatrogenic (spread by people and not naturally through the environment) and limited to the unsanctioned racing (bush track racing) population.
The stallion has been quarantined along with four other horses that have been exposed, reports the Equine Disease Communications Center.
EIA is a potentially fatal blood-borne infectious viral disease that produces persistent infection. There is no treatment for the disease. Confirmed cases can be quarantined at least 200 yards from a non-infected horse for the rest of their life, but most are euthanized. Infected horses can never be moved from the premise on which the infection was detected, except with special USDA approval.
There is no vaccination for EIA; prevention relies on insect control to reduce the possibility of natural transmission. Not reusing needles, and ensuring IV tubing and lip tattoo equipment is clean is imperative in preventing the spread of disease, specifically on bush tracks.
Horses infected with EIA often have a fever, are depressed and anemic. They often have muscle weakness, as well as red or purple spots on their mucous membranes.
Learn more about EIA at the Equine Disease Communication Center.
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