Georgia Horse Confirmed with EIA, Euthanized
The Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division has confirmed one positive case of equine infectious anemia (EIA) in a Quarter Horse at a Hall County facility. The affected horse was identified during routine EIA testing for interstate movement and was humanely euthanized, according to an Equine Disease Communication Center report released on July 23, 2019. The remaining horses at the facility are under quarantine pending follow-up testing, which will occur in 60 days. This is the third confirmed EIA case in Georgia this year.

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease that attacks horses’ immune systems. The virus is transmitted through the exchange of body fluids from an infected to an uninfected animal, often by blood-feeding insects such as horseflies. It can also be transmitted through the use of blood-contaminated instruments or needles.

Coggins test screens horses’ blood for antibodies that are indicative of the presence of the EIA virus. Most U.S. states require horses to have proof of a negative Coggins test in to travel across state lines.

Once an animal is infected with EIA, it is infected for life and can be a reservoir for the spread of disease. Not all horses show signs of disease, but those that do can exhibit:

  • Progressive condition loss;
  • Muscle weakness;
  • Poor stamina;
  • Fever;
  • Depression; and
  • Anemia.

EIA has no vaccine and no cure. A horse diagnosed with the disease dies, is euthanized, or must be placed under extremely strict quarantine conditions (at least 200 yards away from unaffected equids) for the rest of his life.