Two horses at a boardings stable Shelby County, Tennessee, have tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA), according to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). No further specifics on those cases was made available.
A potentially fatal disease, EIA is characterized in the acute or chronic stages by intermittent fever, depression, progressive weakness, weight loss, edema and anemia. In addition, horses can be asymptomatic carriers of EIA, meaning they show no sign of illness but can pass along the disease—transmission occurs through blood transfer when feeding insects, such as horseflies, move from one horse to another. There is no vaccine against EIA and no specific treatment beyond supportive care.
The Coggins test—named after Leroy Coggins, DVM, PhD, who developed it at Cornell University in the 1970s—identifies inapparent carriers of EIA. Most states require a negative test result for horses transported over any public roads, as do many horse shows, organized trail rides and other events where horses are in close contact.
Horses infected with EIA must be euthanized or quarantined with separation from non-infected horse by at least 200 yards to prevent spread of the disease. Infected horses cannot be moved from the original premises during their lifetime except by special USDA approval.
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