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Equine Infectious Anemia in Western Canada (aka EIA, Swamp Fever)

posted by Horse Owner Today    |   September 20, 2011 10:59



Ottawa, September 7, 2011: Canada's control program for equine infectious anemia (EIA) has made significant progress in reducing the prevalence of the disease in Canada. However, despite the best efforts of the horse industry and governments, EIA continues to be detected in Western Canada, particularly in the northern parts of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan, as well as in Yukon.

Infected animals that leave these areas pose a significant risk to other animals.

Horse owners and owners of properties where horses co-mingle should take measures to protect their animals—particularly if they are purchasing or receiving animals from the areas mentioned above.

Horse owners should consult their veterinarian and take appropriate steps to prevent the disease, such as

  • having horses from these geographic areas or horses of unknown origin tested for EIA
  • applying appropriate biosecurity measures to minimize the risk of EIA

EIA is a viral disease of horses transmitted mainly via

  • insects that bite
  • equipment (needles, dental tools) contaminated with blood containing the virus
  • breeding

EIA poses no risk to people, but infected horses carry the virus for life. There is no treatment or vaccine for this disease.

By the end of 2011, the CFIA intends to initiate a comprehensive review of Canada's EIA control program with industry.

For more information on EIA, please visit www.inspection.gc.ca or call the CFIA at 1-800-442-2342.

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