Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin said on June 15 that 41 horses are quarantined at 10 different North Georgia locations due to exposure to equine infectious anemia (EIA).

"We have tested these 41 quarantined in the Adairsville, Calhoun, and Ranger areas, and more than 50 others as a precautionary measure," Irvin said. "Equine infectious anemia is an incurable disease, and we have taken every precaution to prevent it from spreading."

An infected horse was found in routine testing required when a horse changes ownership, goes to events, or travels out of state. The Athens Diagnostic Lab reported the positive test on the 21-year-old Quarter Horse to the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Equine Health Section on June 11. The horse was euthanized on June 13.

Equine infectious anemia is transmitted by blood, usually via horseflies or mosquitoes. Horses can have swelling in the lower legs, weakness, weight loss, and anemia as the disease progresses, but often there are no visible signs of illness.

"We tracked the horse's movements back through three weeks of its new owners and to the previous owner to find any other horse that could have been exposed," Irvin said. "We learned that the horse entered Georgia from Michigan without conforming to our certificate of veterinarian inspection and testing. We regret having to quarantine horses whose owners have planned to take them to events, but we just cannot risk the health of horses throughout the state."

The horses in quarantine will be retested 45 days after their exposure to the infected horse. Results are pending.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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