A public health announcement has been received from officials in Florida. On September 24th, the Florida State Veterinarian's Office received notice from state officials in New Mexico that a Thoroughbred horse, recently moved from Florida to New Mexico, had tested positive for Equine Piroplasmosis (EP).
As a result of the follow-up investigation, one barn at Calder Race Course, two barns at the adjacent training facility, and one farm in Ocala were quarantined and 114 thoroughbred horses were examined for the presence of ticks and tested for EP. Four horses were determined to be positive for EP and are racing for the same stable from which the horse tested in NM originated and all four are located at the one quarantined barn at Calder Race Course.
There was no evidence of the presence of ticks on any of the tested animals and it is believed that the disease has been spread by management practices that involve the transfer of blood from infected horses to non-infected horses. The positive animals will be isolated with the option of permanent quarantine, export out of the country, or euthanasia.
Once the positive horses are removed from Calder Race Course the remaining exposed horses will remain in quarantine for 30 days and be retested to ensure they are negative for EP. Further investigation is being conducted and will include tracing and testing of animals that may have been exposed to the EP organism.
Note: This information was received on September 24 and was published later. Follow-up information will be posted when it becomes available.