Positive EIA Test Prompts Hold Order at Texas Fairgrounds

Positive EIA Test Prompts Hold Order at Texas Fairgrounds

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

Texas animal health officials are monitoring horses at the Val Verde County Fairgrounds, in Del Rio, after a horse stabled there tested positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA) earlier this month.

T.R. Lansford, DVM, the Region 5 Director for the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), told TheHorse.com that on June 10, the TAHC was notified that a horse stabled at the fairgrounds "for only a few days was test positive for EIA and piroplasmosis. A hold order was issued to the Val Verde Fairgrounds for all equines on June 11, 2013, at which time confirmatory samples of the suspect horse were obtained. Confirmatory positive results were received late on June 13. The positive horse was removed from the facility on June 14, and plans were made to conduct additional testing.

"On June 15, 2013, through the cooperation of Val Verde County officials and residents with horses stabled at the facility, TAHC representatives obtained diagnostic samples for EIA from all of the horses in residence at the fairgrounds that had not been tested by private veterinary practitioners during the same week," Lansford continued. "Additionally, all horses in close proximity to where the positive horse was stalled, along with horses that owners voluntarily asked to have tested, were sampled for piroplasmosis. TAHC personnel also cleaned and disinfected the area where the positive horse had been stalled.

"All samples were taken to assure that there had been no transmission of the disease to other horses at the facility," Lansford said. "The results for those samples were reported on June 20 and 21 and disclosed no additional positive horses for either disease."

Lansford said the TAHC established a quarantine area for horses stabled near the affected horse. Those horses will be released from quarantine based on additional diagnostic testing results, he said.

The TAHC released the hold order on all other horses at the fairgrounds on June 21, Lansford said.

EIA is an incurable infectious disease of horses that is spread by biting insects such as flies. Like the human immunodeficiency virus, there is neither cure nor vaccine for EIA. All positive horses are either humanely euthanized or placed under lifelong quarantine.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, News Editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado, and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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