AAEP Publishes African Horse Sickness Guidelines

While AHS doesn’t occur in horses in the United States, a current outbreak in Thailand, with a 94% mortality rate, illustrates the devastation possible when the disease affects a naive horse population.
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The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has published on its website comprehensive guidelines to assist practitioners and regulatory agencies with identification, diagnosis, and control of African horse sickness (AHS), an internationally reportable disease of equids that is highly fatal.

Although AHS doesn’t occur in horses in the United States, a current outbreak in Thailand, with a 94% mortality rate, illustrates the devastation possible when the disease affects a naive horse population.

“The potential risk of introducing endemic or transboundary diseases into the country’s equine population cannot be overemphasized, either at the level of the practicing veterinarian or the horse-owning public,” said Peter Timoney, MVB, MS, PhD, FRCVS, professor and Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington. “Failure to suspect the occurrence of such a disease could have major consequences, especially when dealing with a contagious disease or a vector-borne disease like African horse sickness.”

AHS is a noncontagious, insect-borne infectious disease of equids. It’s a highly important OIE-listed equine disease and a transboundary disease in the United States. As such, any suspicion of AHS is immediately reportable to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and State Animal Health Officials in all 50 states and territories

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