Mule Infected with EIA Reported in Ohio

A mule in Central Ohio was recently euthanized after testing positive for equine infectious anemia (EIA), according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

The Pickaway County farm has been quarantined for 60 days in accordance with Ohio law, although the remainder of its horses have tested negative for the virus. No other cases have been reported to Ohio officials at this time.

"We believe this may be an isolated event, but there's always a chance that it can be spread," said Cindy Brown, a spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

EIA, commonly known as "swamp fever," is a blood-borne viral disease with no treatment, cure or vaccine. Clinical signs can range from none at all to weakness, rejection of feed, swelling, weight loss, fever, and sudden death.

Once a horse has been infected with EIA, they remain carriers for life. Ohio law requires horses with a positive Coggins test either to be euthanized at the owner's expense or to be permanently quarantined at least 200 feet away from other equines.

According to USDA statistics, the last reported case of EIA in Ohio occurred in 2006, and the state has had seven cases in the past five years.

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