Five New York Horses Confirmed With Equine Infectious Anemia

Five New York Horses Confirmed With Equine Infectious Anemia

An annual Coggins test screens for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of EIA.

Photo: Erica Larson, News Editor

Five horses in New York were diagnosed with equine infectious anemia (EIA) on March 4, according to the Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC). All five cases—confirmed by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Animal Industry—are at one Cortland County farm, which is home to 10 draft and buggy horses. Animal health officials have quarantined the farm and its resident horses, according to the EDCC report.

Equine infectious anemia (also known as “swamp fever”) is a viral disease that attacks horses' immune systems and is most commonly detected with the Coggins test. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids from an infected to a noninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies, and more rarely through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.

Once an animal is infected with EIA, it is infected for life and can be a reservoir for the spread of disease. Obvious clinical signs of the disease include progressive loss of condition along with muscle weakness and poor stamina. An affected horse also could show fever, depression, and anemia.

TheHorse.com will provide updates as additional information becomes available.

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