Equine Infectious Anemia Detected in Second Horse in England

Equine infectious anemia (EIA) has been detected in a horse in Devon, England, after the owner requested a private veterinarian to examine a sick horse, the Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) confirmed Sept. 11.

The premise is currently under restriction and the infected horse will be euthanized. The other two horses on the premises are currently being tested for evidence of infection.

The horse has been in this country for two years and only became ill very recently. The investigation into the origin of this case is ongoing.

"The risk of notifiable exotic disease is ever present," said Chief Veterinary Officer Nigel Gibbens. "This case demonstrates the importance of owners being vigilant and identifying illness in their animals and consulting their vet who should then report any signs of exotic disease to the Animal Health Agency."

This is the second horse in England to be confirmed with EIA, a viral disease of horses that causes intermittent fever, anemia, emaciation, and death. It can be transmitted by the exchange of blood by biting insects and occurs typically in low-lying swampy areas. The first was reported in Northumberland Sept. 7. The two cases are not being linked at this time.  

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