Equine Flu, EIA In Alberta

In News by COSA

Multiple cases of Equine Influenza Virus and one case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) have been confirmed in Alberta.

Equine influenza has been diagnosed in several Standardbred racehorses at a racetrack in Edmonton, Alta. Horses started developing fevers (103-105°F) on November 19 followed by nasal discharge and deep barking coughs. A few have develop mild cases of pneumonia. Equine influenza virus was diagnosed on PCR testing of nasal swabs. The most severely affected horses had not been vaccinated recently for influenza.

Affected horses are receiving supportive treatment and strict biosecurity measures are in place. For guidance on vaccination of horses for influenza and other equine contagious diseases, contact a veterinarian.



Separate from the cases of Equine Influenza Virus, positive equine infectious anemia (EIA) results were confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) national reference laboratory on Nov. 22 for a horse located on a premises in Athabasca County, Alta. The horse had been tested by an accredited veterinarian at the owner’s request after being made aware that the horse had commingled with infected animals during the previous summer. No clinical signs of disease were noted by the veterinarian when the animal was tested.

A CFIA investigation is underway and as per program policy, movement controls have been placed on the infected horse and any on-premises contact animals. Initial reports indicate there are several other equines on the affected premises. Movement controls will remain for the EIA cases until all disease response activities have been completed, including follow-up testing and ordering the destruction of confirmed cases. Trace-out activities may require the CFIA to undertake actions at additional premises as outlined in the current policy. Improved biosecurity protocols have been strongly recommended to the owners to help control the ongoing spread of EIA.

(With files from EDCC)