Twelve cases of the fatal equine disease were confirmed in that herd by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture earlier this month.
The herd will remain under quarantine and undergo additional testing in the next few months according to Hughes. Other horses that may have associated with the initial herd were also quarantined, but all tests on those animals have come back negative for EIA.
Hughes says EIA only affects horses, mules and donkeys. Other animals and humans are unable to become infected with this disease.Because there are no treatment options for the disease, 10 of the 12 infected horses were euthanized. The other two horses were taken to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, for work related to EIA testing.
Symptoms of EIA include: fever, depression, weight loss,swelling and anemia. Producers with horses, donkeys or mules that exhibit these symptoms are urged tocontact their veterinarian immediately.
EIA is a blood borne disease that is typically transmitted by biting insects such as horseflies and deer flies, in addition to transmission through infected needles.
Horse owners are being encouraged to take biosecurity precautions to reduce the risk of infection in their herd. Such precautions include: implementing control measures such as husbandry practices that reduce biting insects, not sharing needles between horses and giving a Coggins test before allowing equine intermingling.
For more information, go to www.nda.nebraska.gov.