Erie County, NY, Horse Tests Positive for Equine Influenza

The mare is recovering after exposure to a horse showing signs of EI on a trail ride.
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Erie County, NY, Horse Tests Positive for Equine Influenza
The Erie County mare is recovering after exposure to a horse showing signs of EI on a trail ride. | Wikimedia Commons
On May 2 an unvaccinated 2-year-old Quarter Horse cross mare at a private facility in Erie County, New York, developed a fever, cough, and nasal discharge. The mare, which is primarily used for trail riding, had recently been exposed to a horse with a snotty nose while on a trail ride. The attending veterinarian confirmed a diagnosis of equine influenza on May 4, and the mare is currently recovering.

The Equine Disease Communication Center released this information on May 6, 2022.

 

About Equine Influenza

Equine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease that infects horses, ponies, and other equids, such as donkeys, mules, and zebras. The virus that causes it is spread via saliva and respiratory secretions from infected horses. Horses are commonly exposed via horse-to-horse contact; aerosol transmission from coughing and sneezing; and contact with humans’ contaminated hands, shoes, or clothes or contaminated tack, buckets, or other equipment.

Clinical signs of equine influenza infection can include a high fever (up to 106°F); a dry, hacking cough; depression; weakness; anorexia; serous (watery) nasal discharge; and slightly enlarged lymph nodes. Consider monitoring your horse’s health at shows by taking his temperature daily, which can help you pick up on signs of infection early and take appropriate measures to reduce disease spread.

Vaccination is an important and inexpensive way to protect your horse. US Equestrian requires proof that horses have had an equine influenza vaccination within the six months prior to attending organization-sanctioned competitions or events. Your veterinarian can help you determine what other vaccines your horse might benefit from.

In addition to vaccinating, following strict biosecurity protocols can help reduce your horse’s chance of infection and disease. Such measures include quarantining new equine arrivals at barns, disinfecting buckets and equipment, and preventing nose-to-nose contact between horses.

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