Australian Vet: Flu Localized in Small Area of NSW

Flu map

Properties with horses infected with equine influenza cover only a fraction of the land area of New South Wales (NSW), Ian Roth, NSW deputy chief veterinary officer, said in a Sept. 13 statement.

"Less than 5% of the almost 170,000 horses in NSW have so far tested positive for the disease," Roth said. "And a clear majority of the horse population located in areas of the State not currently affected by the EI outbreak.

"Although the number of infected properties continues to steadily rise, new infections have shown up in places that were expected, either though our tracing or lateral spread to nearby properties," Roth noted. "Most new infections are occurring on small properties with relatively few horses, and most of these are confined to a few districts with high horse populations.

Roth said the fact that EI was not emerging in new areas of the State was a sign that the strategies of movement restrictions and tracing were effective.

"We have been able to limit the spread and this gives us confidence that our movement standstill strategy of confining horse flu to relatively few animals in a defined band of NSW is working, even though infection numbers continue to rise," Roth stated. "Unfortunately the short term consequences of keeping the disease contained are that the indefinite movement restrictions must continue and the need for all properties in restricted areas to continue to enforce strict quarantine procedures."

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