Two Washington Horses Test Positive for Equine Influenza

Two additional horses are suspected positive, and five more horses were exposed.
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Two Washington Horses Test Positive for Equine Influenza
Washington State officials have confirmed two horses at a boarding facility in Pierce County with equine influenza. | Photo: Wikimedia Commons
On Nov. 23, officials at the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) have confirmed two horses at a boarding facility in Pierce County with equine influenza. Two additional horses are suspected positive, and five more horses were exposed.

The facility is under voluntary quarantine and its owner and the attending veterinarian are coordinating care and monitoring.

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 human’s 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

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Written by:

Diane Rice earned her bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism from the University of Wisconsin, then married her education with her lifelong passion for horses by working in editorial positions at Appaloosa Journal for 12 years. She has also served on the American Horse Publications’ board of directors. She now freelances in writing, editing, and proofreading. She lives in Middleton, Idaho, and spends her spare time gardening, reading, serving in her church, and spending time with her daughters, their families, and a myriad of her own and other people’s pets.

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