Lifeng Hao of Mongolia’s Emergency Situations Agency confirmed on November 16th that more than 8000 horses have contracted equine influenza (EI) in the two western Mongolian provinces of Khovd and Bayan-Olgii, which border China and Kazahkstan. Other reports put the total as high as 11,000 sick horses. Nine horses are reported dead from the disease.
As reported on this blog last week, more than 5000 horses in China’s Xinjiang province, near the Mongolian border, have contracted EI.
Reports say that the two provinces have been quarantined, and sick horses have been isolated and disinfected. The Mongolian government is sending a large number of vaccinations to the area.
Mongolia is a great livestock nation with over two million horses. Equine influenza last occurred in Mongolia in 1992, in Khovd. At the time, 13,000 horses were infected.
Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Recent outbreaks have also recently occurred in Japan and Australia.