From the April 2004 issue of Equine Disease Quarterly, funded by Lloyd's of London underwriters, brokers, and their Kentucky agents

The International Collating Centre in Newmarket, England, and other sources reported the following disease outbreaks in the fourth quarter of 2003:

  • Two cases of contagious equine metritis on separate premises were diagnosed among Thoroughbreds on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, and a single case in a non-Thoroughbred stallion during routine screening in Italy.
  • Respiratory disease attributable to equine herpesvirus was reported extensively among several breeds in France and on several premises in the United Kingdom. Single cases of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) abortion were reported from Victoria, Australia, and Hokkaido, Japan. Several cases were reported in Thoroughbreds and non-Thoroughbreds in France, and cases were diagnosed in a herd of Shetland ponies in the United Arab Emirates. Two isolated cases were reported in the United Kingdom, one in a vaccinated mare at five months gestation. Three sporadic cases of the paralytic form of EHV-1 were reported in the United Kingdom.
  • A mare which had returned from a farm in Ireland tested serologically positive for equine viral arteritis (EVA) in the United Kingdom during November 2003. The mare had resided on a farm in Ireland where other animals had tested positive during the year. No clinical signs were reported in the seropositive cases.
  • Cases of equine influenza were widely reported in France, as well as cases in the south of England, Wales, and in Sweden. A case of equine rabies was reported in Turkey during August. Denmark reported that isolates of Streptococcus equi, which causes strangles, have been found with a low sensitivity to penicillin. Strangles was also reported from Australia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
  • West Nile virus continued its spread across the United States in 2003, and as a result, only four states--Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada and Oregon--were considered free of the disease. By the end of 2003, the USDA reported 4,636 equine cases in 41 states compared to 14,358 cases in 40 states during 2002. The significant decrease in equine cases compared to the increase in human cases (from 4,156 people in 2002 to 9,175 in 2003) might be influenced by the extensive vaccination program of horses in the United States.
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