Published Date: 2002-08-25 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Equine infectious anemia - USA (Georgia)
Archive Number: 20020825.5148
EQUINE INFECTIOUS ANEMIA - USA (GEORGIA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 19 Aug 2002
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: PR Newswire 15 Aug 2002 16:16 EST [edited]
4 Chattooga Horses Test Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia,
94 Quarantined, According to Georgia Department of Agriculture
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin announced 4 horses in
Chattooga County tested positive for Equine infectious anemia (EIA) and have
been euthanized. So far, 94 other horses in the county have had to be
quarantined due to possible exposure.
EIA is a viral disease that affects the horse's immune system. There is no
cure. EIA is usually transmitted by horseflies or mosquitoes. "Although
many infected horses show no symptoms, they remain infectious for life,
endangering the health of other horses. For this reason, the Georgia
Department of Agriculture requires euthanasia or lifelong quarantine for
EIA-infected horses. We also require testing for all horse sales and
transfers of ownership," said Commissioner Irvin. This test, called a
Coggins Test, also is required for all horse shows and before horse owners
are allowed to board any of their animals at a stable.
"Because there is no cure, the only protection is prevention," Commissioner
Irvin continued. "This is why testing is a necessity and why boarding
facilities have to be licensed. Although Georgia has had only a few
EIA-positive horses in the past year, these few horses can affect many
others. I encourage all horse owners in Chattooga County and surrounding
areas to have their horses tested even if not selling or moving their
horses. This is important in areas where there has been an outbreak.
"Our prevention methods have kept Georgia from becoming a hotspot for this
disease. EIA can cripple the horse industry in a state. Besides possibly
causing death, EIA severely limits the enjoyment people can get from their
horses such as competing in shows or riding on trails. For the good of
everyone, we must work to keep EIA from becoming a common problem in
Georgia," said Irvin.
With the exception of the 4 horses that tested positive, 93 of the other
quarantined horses have tested negative. The remaining horse was a newborn
colt that will be tested soon. Before any of them are released from
quarantine, they will have to be tested again 45 days following their last
exposure to an infected horse.
The EIA virus reproduces in blood cells and circulates throughout the body.
The horse's immune system attacks and destroys the infected red blood cells.
The reduced blood count causes anemia, and associated inflammation can
damage vital organs. Because the horse's immune system is impaired, the
horse may also become susceptible to other infections. EIA-infected horses
can die from the virus or from secondary infections. A horse that tests
positive for EIA will have to be kept permanently at least 200 yards from
other horses or roadways.
Source: Georgia Department of Agriculture
Contact: Arty Schronce or Jackie Sosby, both of the Georgia Department of
[Most states have laws and regulations regarding the reporting of EIA and
testing prior to sale, boarding or transport. EIA is a list B agent
according to OIE. - Mod.TG]