EVA Outbreak Reported in New Mexico

On June 26, the Office International des Epizooties (OIE) Reference Laboratory for Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA) at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center confirmed an EVA outbreak involving fetal losses on a Quarter Horse breeding farm in New Mexico.

The disease is acute and contagious. It can cause fever, respiratory illness, ocular inflammation, edema (swelling), weakness or sickness in foals, and abortion.

It can be transmitted through respiratory or venereal routes. It occurs worldwide and is present in Great Britain, the United States, and every mainland European country.

This diagnosis was based on the widespread prevalence of high antibody levels to the virus in both mares and stallions, plus virus isolation from the semen of two stallions.

On the same day, the outbreak was reported to the New Mexico Livestock Board in Albuquerque, N.M., which is investigating the potential for spread of the infection to other premises.

The EVA Reference Laboratory is interested in receiving samples from suspected clinical cases of EVA or from animals very recently exposed to semen from either of the virus-shedding stallions.

Veterinarians should call the Gluck Center at 859/257-4757 before submitting samples.

For more information on this outbreak or EVA, see www.newmexicolivestockboard.com (look under "critical events"), www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahps/equine/eva/, or www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_ahequineva.html.  

An article entitled, "Equine Viral Arteritis: Is the Disease a Cause for Industry Concern?" by Peter Timoney, FRCVS, PhD, of the Gluck Center, is available at www.ca.uky.edu/gluck/NewsMedAlertEVANM.asp. --David Powell, BVSc, FRCVS, and Peter Timoney, FRCVS, PhD

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