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Sunday, May 10, 2009

India bans sale of horses due to equine flu outbreak

A ProMED-mail post

ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Sun 10 May 2009
Source: Xinhuanet [edited]

Though India has remained free so far from influenza A/H1N1, another
animal disease, equine influenza, or horse flu, has killed 43 horses
in the west Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, local Hindi daily
Danik Bhaskar reported Saturday [9 May 2009].

A laboratory based in Hissar of Haryana, in north India, has
confirmed that the deaths were caused by equine influenza, commonly
called "horse flu."

The 1st death occurred in January 2009 in Gandhinagar in Gujarat,
where 15 horses died of the disease last month [April 2009], said the report.

To prevent the disease from spreading, the Gujarat government has
instituted a ban on buying and selling horses in the state.

In Rajasthan, 25 horses have died at a horse fair in the Jodhpur
area, according to the report.

Equine flu is caused by strains of influenza A that are endemic in
horses. The virus can cross the species-barrier and affect humans as well.

Equine influenza is characterized by a very high rate of transmission
among horses and has a relatively short incubation time of one to 5 days.

Horses with horse flu can develop symptoms of fever, dry hacking
cough and runny nose.

Communicated by:

[An extensive epizootic of equine influenza, reportedly caused by the
virus A/equi-2, Serotype H3N8, has been continuing its spread in
India since June 2008. For an OIE summary on the 24 outbreaks
reported in the immediate notification, submitted 27 Nov 2008, and in
the 4 follow-up reports, the most recent one submitted 22 Apr 2008, refer to
Follow-up report No. 4, submitted 22 Apr 2009, added the following
data pertaining to the 4 covered recent outbreaks: Susceptible horses
- 161; cases - 59; deaths - 5. A map showing all 24 outbreaks since
June 2008, with all reported outbreaks, is included.

Equine influenza is not regarded as zoonotic. - Mod.AS]

[see also:
Equine influenza - India: (GJ) confirmed 20090414.1422
Equine influenza - India: (GJ), susp., RFI 20090405.1321]

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