International Disease Report First Quarter 2007

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:

Contagious Equine Metritis was confirmed in one non-Thoroughbred stallion (Franches-Montagne) at the National Stud in Switzerland. Continuing the 2006 last quarter report concerning isolation of Taylorella equigenitalis from imported Lipizzaner stallions in Wisconsin, the USDA confirmed that the stallions, after completing two series of antibiotic treatments, cultured negative for the organism. In addition, each stallion was bred to two test mares, which also tested negative for the organism. The stallions were released from quarantine on March 7, 2007.

Cases of respiratory disease caused by equine herpesvirus (EHV) were widely reported from a variety of horse breeds in France. Horses among the Thoroughbred racing population at Sha Tin racecourse, Hong Kong, displayed fever (ranging from 101° to 103° F), which was confirmed as caused by EHV-1. Over 100 horses were affected during a period of 60 days, representing 12% of the racing population. EHV-1 was diagnosed as the cause of death in a donkey that died in the United Kingdom with severe tracheitis.

Abortions attributable to EHV-1 were reported among Standardbred mares in France. Ten cases were reported from Ireland, 14 cases on six premises from Japan, eight cases in the United Kingdom, and 14 cases in Central Kentucky, six of which occurred among vaccinated mares on one farm.

Cases of the paralytic form of EHV-1 were identified in one Thoroughbred mare reported from Japan and a Welsh Cob in the United Kingdom. Several outbreaks were reported in the United States, all characterized by low morbidity but high mortality. In January, cases were reported on two premises in Connecticut, in February in Wisconsin with two fatalities, and in New York with one fatality. Also during February, six cases with three fatalities occurred at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, Leesburg, Virginia. The facility was closed under a state quarantine but reopened to accept equine patients at the end of March. During March, cases were diagnosed on one premise in Florida with two fatalities; in California, six cases were diagnosed with three fatalities on two premises; and in Maine, with one fatality.

A single case of coital exanthema (EHV-3) was diagnosed in a Thoroughbred stallion in the United Kingdom.

All restrictions on premises with respect to the outbreak of equine infectious anemia (EIA) in Ireland were lifted on March 21. In Italy extensive testing of the equine population for EIA is under way, with 29 positives identified during the first quarter.

Equine influenza was reported among a variety of breeds in France, and an extensive outbreak was confirmed among unvaccinated Standardbreds in training stables in Sweden. An unvaccinated Warmblood horse recently imported from Holland was confirmed as positive for influenza in the United Kingdom.

Strangles was widely reported in Ireland, and cases were reported on three premises in Switzerland among non-Thoroughbred horses.

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Equine Disease Quarterly

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