Equine Infectious Anemia Discovered in a Horse in Germany

An update from the International Society for Infections Diseases (ISID) at Harvard University tells us that a horse in the Haan/North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) region of Germany has tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA).

This is the first case in the region in more than 10 years.

German authorities have set up a control zone of 2 km (some sources say 10 km) around the affected farm; movement restrictions are in place, and all horses and donkeys in the zone will be blood tested.

The horse was put down, and the authorities are investigating the possible route of the introduction of the virus.

Cases of EIA are very rare in Germany and occur usually in horses imported from Eastern Europe, where the disease is unfortunately much more common.

An outbreak in Ireland a few years ago basically shut down horse transport and international sales breeding there. That outbreak was linked to contaminated plasma at a pharmaceutical lab.

EIA is the disease that a Coggins test is looking for. It is among the most dangerous and highly contagious of equine diseases.

To learn more: The USDA has an excellent background document on EIA. Click here to access it.

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