Infectious horse disease found in Idaho

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - Idaho horse owners are being warned that the State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) has confirmed equine infectious anemia (EIA) has been diagnosed in a horse that was transported from Washington to Canyon County, Idaho in May.

EIA is an infectious and possibly fatal viral disease that is most commonly transmitted by biting insects. It does not pose a threat to humans. ISDA said needles and equipment infected by the blood of an infected horse can also spread the virus to other horses.  

There is no vaccine to prevent EIA.

A Coggins test is the most commonly used laboratory analysis to detect EIA antibodies and all states require a negative Coggins test before horses can be moved across state lines.  

"Horse owners are strongly encouraged to incorporate an annual Coggins test into their animal health regimen regardless of whether they travel interstate," said ISDA State Veterinarian Dr. Bill Barton. "Horses that acquire EIA are infected throughout their lives and will remain a source of infection to other horses in close proximity, so Coggins tests are incredibly important to managing the spread of EIA."

Barton said symptoms are often subtle and may go undetected. Some may not show signs of illness and those animals may be inapparent carriers.  Other horses may develop low-grade fever or become lethargic. Other symptoms include weight loss, yellowing of body tissues, anemia, swelling in limbs, and general weakness.    

Idaho law has strict requirements for EIA-infected horses, including isolation from other horses for the life of the animal. 

You can find additional information here.

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