International Disease Report Fourth Quarter 2006

This is an excerpt from Equine Disease Quarterly, funded by underwriters at Lloyd's, London, brokers, and their Kentucky agents.

The International Collating Centre, Newmarket, England, and other sources reported the following disease outbreaks:

African horse sickness was reported on three premises in two provinces of South Africa. In the Southern Cape, Serotype 9 was isolated. It was the same serotype isolated from cases in the area in July 2006, suggesting that the virus had persisted over the winter period. Cases were also reported in northern parts of KwaZulu-Natal Province in December.

In October, Taylorella equigenitalis, the causative agent of Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM), was isolated from two Lipizzaner stallions imported from Slovakia, Eastern Europe, to the state of Wisconsin, USA. The organism was isolated from genital swabs obtained during a routine breeding soundness examination after the animals had been tested and released from federal quarantine. The stallions had been resident on the same premises since their importation and had not been used for natural breeding, although semen had been collected but not used. The stallions have subsequently undergone courses of treatment prior to being retested for the presence of the bacteria.

Respiratory disease attributable to equine herpesvirus (EHV) was diagnosed among foals on several farms in Argentina, among a variety of breeds of horses in France, and among horses that had been recently imported into the United Arab Emirates. Abortions attributable to EHV-1 were reported on six premises in two provinces of South Africa. Several outbreaks attributable to the neurological strain of EHV-1 were confirmed in various parts of the United States during the fourth quarter and into January 2007. These outbreaks included cases at Monmouth Racetrack, New Jersey, and among patients at the veterinary hospital of Colorado State University in October. In December, cases were also confirmed on several premises in Florida. They included horses preparing for an equestrian event in Wellington. They had had contact with a horse released from the New York quarantine facility that had been imported from Germany at the end of November. Thirteen cases and six deaths were reported, and 10 premises in Florida, including Payson Park Training Center, were placed under a state quarantine. By January 20, restrictions on all premises had been lifted. In California, a case was diagnosed at Golden Gate Racetrack in December and another in January 2007 at Los Alamitos Racetrack.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) was confirmed among 22 horses on seven premises in Germany. In Ireland, 28 cases of EIA have been identified since the initial diagnosis of the outbreak in June as the result of the administration of an infected equine biological product. In Italy, 83 horses have been positively identified for EIA, which includes indigenous and imported animals.

Equine influenza was confirmed among a variety of breeds of horses in France and among circus horses in the United Kingdom.

Rotavirus infection was diagnosed among foals ranging in age from 2 to 4 months on eight premises in Argentina. Numerous outbreaks of strangles were recorded in Ireland, South Africa, and Switzerland.

For the year 2006, the USDA reported 1,032 equine cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) throughout the United States, a third of which were in the state of Idaho. Over the same period the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 4,180 human cases, including 149 fatalities.

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Equine Disease Quarterly

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