NC horse tests positive for equine infectious anemia

Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 2:14 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - Officials with the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA) said a horse in North Carolina tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA).

According to officials, a horse in Henderson County was also tested and officials are waiting for results.

Officials said the horse in Surry County tested positive but there is no epidemiological link between the two cases at this time.

Equine infectious anemia is an incurable disease commonly spread by biting flies and ticks of shared medical equipment between equines such as horse, donkeys and mules.

The disease was discovered through collaborative efforts by private veterinary practitioners, NCDA & CS Veterinary Division field staff, the N.C. Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Raleigh and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The cases mentioned above are the first documents in North Carolina since August 2017.

“Both facilities are under quarantine, which restricts movement of equine until testing is completed by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the epidemiological investigation is further along,” said Dr. Catherine Harris, director of Livestock Health Programs. “The remaining equines will be observed and retested in 60 days. We are also monitoring neighboring facilities for the disease.”

Clinical signs of the disease include: fever, weakness, edema, weight loss, anemia and death.

Officials said if infected, some equine might not show symptoms.

However to help prevent infection, follow these guidelines:

· Use sterile, disposable needles and syringes, one per horse, for all vaccines and medications.

· Test all horses for EIA every year and at the time they enter a new premises.

· Keep stables and other facilities sanitary. Regularly clean stalls and properly dispose of manure away from horse stabling areas.

· Implement approved insect controls, such as insecticides and good drainage of standing water, to minimize fly presence.

· Only participate in events that require evidence of negative Coggins test.

· Isolate new horses on a property until they are tested for EIA.

· Never mix infected and healthy animals. Do not breed horses infected with EIA.

Officials said this disease does not affect people.

For more information about EIA or other reportable animal diseases please call the Veterinary Division at 919-707-3250.