The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) has confirmed a detection of equine infectious anemia (EIA) in a horse at a facility in Clark County during routine testing. A quarantine has been issued for the facility and all horses on the premises will undergo testing to prevent potential spread of the disease. Horses that attended an event in Washoe County within the month of June 2022 are also encouraged to test.
“We are working closely with local veterinarians and the facility to address the situation and prevent the potential spread of disease,” said NDA State Veterinarian Dr. Amy Mitchell.
Equine species, including horses, donkeys and mules, are required to have a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection and submit proof of a negative EIA test within 12 months prior to entry as part of Nevada’s entry requirements. Negative EIA tests are required for movement between all states and the U.S. Department of Agriculture lists EIA requirements for importation into the U.S.
EIA is transmitted through blood contact and cannot be spread through coughs, sneezes or casual contact. This is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the NDA, per NRS 571.160. A list of reportable diseases can be found at agri.nv.gov.
EIA is a disease transmitted in equine species that can cause fever, weakness, swelling, irregular heartbeat and low red blood cell count. It cannot be transmitted to humans and is not a public health risk, therefore details about the facility cannot be released, per Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 571.160.
“While there is no treatment for EIA, it can only be spread by contaminated blood of an infected horse,” said Dr. Mitchell. “Infected horses may not show symptoms but remain carriers for life, making routine testing key to prevention of spread of this disease.”
Horse owners are urged to practice good horse health safety measures to reduce chances of an infectious disease being transferred, and get as much background information as possible before purchasing horses. Basic practices include:
• Never share equipment between horses. Single-use medical equipment such as needles, syringes, and IV lines should never be re-used, and should never be shared between different horses. Dental tools and other instruments should be fully sterilized between horses.
• Practice good fly control by keeping stalls dry, removing standing water, managing manure, and using fly deterrents and repellants.
• Horses should have a routine testing schedule for EIA and should be tested prior to attending events.
• Test horses at the time of purchase examination. Work with a veterinarian on a quarantine and/or retesting protocol prior to introducing a new horse to current horses. Before purchasing, get as much background information on the horse including any domestic or international travel or importation.
• Any horses entering the U.S. from other countries require testing and quarantine prior to entry.
Horses suspected to be ill should be reported to their veterinarian for appropriate care. Visit https://agri.nv.gov/Animals/Animal_Disease/Equine/ for more information.