CEM: Georgia Reports Positive Stallion

Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin reported March 12 that laboratory tests confirmed a Georgia Paint horse is infected with contagious equine metritis (CEM), a highly contagious, but treatable, venereal disease of horses.

"This is the first CEM positive horse in Georgia and the 13th stallion in the nation since the announcement of the first positive case December 15th," Irvin stated. "The Georgia stallion has been under quarantine since January 16th of this year and will continue to be treated and tested for several weeks."


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Carter Black III, DVM, Georgia's state veterinarian, said the Georgia stallion that tested positive for Taylorella equigenitalis, the bacteria that causes CEM, was in Wisconsin during the 2008 breeding season with other stallions that had tested positive.

USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Service reports that none of the positive horses have yet been identified as the source of the outbreak; the epidemiologic investigation continues to pursue all available information relevant to determining the origin of this outbreak, but no conclusions can yet be drawn.

Other positive stallions include three in Indiana, four in Kentucky, one in Texas, and four in Wisconsin. Three mares were also positive, with one in California, one in Illinois, and one in Wisconsin.

Nationally, locations have also been confirmed for 670 additional horses exposed to T. equigenitalis. The 686 horses are located in 46 states. There are 121 exposed or positive stallions in 19 states and 565 exposed or positive mares in 44 states. Eight exposed mares are still actively being traced.

Sixteen stallions have now completed their entire testing and treatment protocol and been determined to be negative for T. equigenitalis.

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