June 21, 2013

 

Becker County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Infectious Anemia
 
A horse in Becker County tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) on June 20. This is the first new case of EIA in Minnesota since 2007. The Board of Animal Health has quarantined the infected horse and 13 other exposed horses on the farm.

Equine infectious anemia is a viral disease of horses. It is usually spread through blood transfer caused by large biting insects such as horseflies and deerflies. The disease causes immune suppression. Horses infected with EIA may develop acute symptoms and die or they may have slowly progressing symptoms and live for many years.

The positive horse was tested for EIA, as required prior to attending an exhibition. Current Minnesota rules require all horses be negative to an EIA test within 12 months of importation or exhibition to limit possible exposure to other horses. Because there is no vaccine or treatment for EIA, an infected horse will always be a reservoir for spread of the disease.

The other 13 horses that are on the premises will be tested for EIA twice within the next 60 days to see if they are infected with the disease.