Outbreak Alerts Keep Public Informed

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When it comes to equine health care, a partnership between horse owners and veterinarians is a must. Equally important is staying informed about potential disease threats that may put a horse’s health at risk. That’s the reason Merial launched www.outbreak-alert.com, a free program used to notify horse owners and veterinarians about reports of equine disease throughout the country.

Since June 2011, the program has provided notification of more than 500 disease reports threatening the overall health and well-being of horses. As of late October 2011, those notifications included 52 cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in seven states and 69 cases of equine West Nile virus (WNV)-1 in 20 states. Notifications of other preventable diseases such as rabies, Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) and equine influenza have also been shared with concerned horse owners. In addition, cases of Equine herpes virus (EHV-1), which is highly contagious, have been reported through the program.

In addition to the cases reported on the website, which are visually displayed on a map of the United States, the Outbreak Alert program offers a notification system. Those who sign up for the free service receive an e-mail or text message when a disease is reported in a specific geographic area. Horse owners who travel may enter multiple zip codes so they can stay abreast of disease threats throughout the country.

Veterinarians and horse owners can sign up for the service by visiting www.outbreak-alert.com and clicking the “register” button.