Equine Influenza Update: Numbers Continue to Rise

Equine Influenza update Horses grazing (MSD owned)

The Animal Health Trust (AHT) today confirmed that the number of laboratory-confirmed outbreaks of Equine Influenza (EI) in Great Britain has now exceeded more than 200; this is compared to just two outbreaks reported in 2018.

Equine Influenza update Horses grazing (MSD owned)
Horses grazing. Image credit MSD Animal Health

Dr Richard Newton, Director of Epidemiology and Disease Surveillance, at the Animal Health Trust, said

Alarmingly, the number of Equine Influenza outbreaks continues to rise and is likely to continue week-on-week for the foreseeable future.  The effect of increased horse movement and mixing of horses at events in the summer is a contributing factor”.

We applaud those horse shows and events which have made vaccination mandatory, have arrangements to check passports and enforce the rules”.

We encourage organisers of horse shows and events in the future to make vaccination mandatory, and to ensure this decision is communicated in plenty of time ahead of their event to allow owners the time to properly vaccinate their animals.”

The message remains the same …

The advice to all horse owners from the AHT remains the same.  Remain vigilant to the clinical signs of flu, boost the horse’s vaccination if it was given more than six months ago and importantly isolate new arrivals on the yard and those returning from shows.  It is important that horse-owners also practice good biosecurity at their yard and when out competing.

The AHT has launched Equiflunet, which aims to raise awareness of EI in the equestrian and non-equestrian community. To learn more, and to keep up to date with news on the virus, progressive work, download monthly updates on outbreaks and treatments visit www.aht.org.uk/disease-surveillance/equiflunet.

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