EDCC Reports More Piroplasmosis in Tennessee; First WNV Case in Utah

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The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) offers alerts about equine diseases that have been confirmed by reliable sources. The following information is from the EDCC.

More Piroplasmosis in Tennessee

Two additional racing Quarter Horses have tested positive for equine piroplasmosis (EP) in middle Tennessee, bringing the total to 19. All are connected to two locations in Rutherford County or Bedford County. The investigation is ongoing.

The Tennessee State Veterinarian’s office noted that EP is a blood parasite that affects equines. Although it can be transmitted through infected ticks, today it is more commonly spread by blood and blood products through the sharing of needles, syringes or improperly cleaned and disinfected dental, tattoo, surgical or blood product equipment between infected and uninfected horses.

It might take as long as 30 days for an infected horse to test positive for the disease after exposure. Early clinical signs can range from weakness and lack of appetite to swelling of limbs and labored breathing. Horses that survive the acute phase continue to carry the parasite for an extended period of time. Horses that test positive for the disease are quarantined and may be euthanized. 

Horses will not transmit the disease to other horses through casual contact. However, it is critical that horse handlers practice good biosecurity. If a needle is required, use a new sterile needle and syringe on every horse and clean and disinfect all equine equipment that may be contaminated with blood. Learn how to protect your horses from EP.

Some states and equine competitions require EP testing for entrance. If you plan to travel with your horse, check with the receiving state for current import requirements.

The state veterinarian is responsible for monitoring for and preventing the spread of animal disease, as well as promoting animal health in Tennessee. The office works with private veterinarians, animal pathologists and disease diagnostic laboratories to identify diseases and determine the cause of animal deaths.

WNV in Utah

The first confirmed case of equine West Nile virus in Utah has been reported to the state veterinarian's office. The animal, located in Uintah County, was a four-year old, unvaccinated, Quarter Horse gelding. The horse was humanely euthanized because of clinical signs and for the welfare of the animal. No quarantine is in place.

About EDCC

The Equine Disease Communication Center works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.

The goal of the EDCC is to alert the horse industry about disease outbreak information to help mitigate and prevent the spread of disease. Ultimately frequent and accurate information about diseases outbreaks improves horse welfare and helps to prevent negative economic impact that can result from decreased horse use due to a fear of spreading infection. As part of the National Equine Health Plan the EDCC will serve as part of the communication to help educate and promote research about endemic and foreign disease.

Working in cooperation with state animal health officials and the United State Department of Agriculture, the EDCC seeks information about current disease outbreaks from news media, social media, official state reports and veterinary practitioners. Once information is confirmed, it is immediately posted on this website and messages sent to all states and horse organizations by email. Daily updates are posted until each outbreak is contained or deemed no longer a threat.

The EDCC is made possible by generous donations from organizations and horse owners. Please visit our sponsors that have generously supported this program for the benefit of the health and welfare of horses. To learn how you can help go to SUPPORT.