Infectious Equine Virus In Spain’s Valencia Has Now Reached Six Autonomies and Eight Countries

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Infectious Equine Virus In Spain’s Valencia Has Now Reached Six Autonomies and Eight Countries
CREDIT: Easy Horse Charity

Infectious Equine Virus In Spain’s Valencia Has Now Reached Six Autonomies and Eight Countries.

THE outbreak of equine rhinopneumonitis confirmed in the Valencia Community on February 22, has apparently now spread to eight different countries.

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On Friday, March 5, there were six, with Spain, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, France and Qatar, however, on March 8, Italy and Switzerland announced cases. The United States announced a case, however, it is not said to be related to the outbreak in Europe.

According to data from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), nine horses have sadly died.

Sources from the Generalitat Valenciana along with the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition, have stated that there are currently twelve confirmed farms with cases in six autonomous communities in Spain. Of the seven animals that died in Spain, five were in Valencia and two in Barcelona. The other two tragic deaths occurred in Germany.


“Higher numbers are cited in social networks, but the official and confirmed figures are nine deaths of equines to date,” stated the FEI, who have been working with leading epidemiologists, including EHV specialists, Professor Ann Cullinane, Dr. Richard Newton, and Dr. Gittan Gröndahl.

“This strain of EHV-1 is particularly aggressive and has already caused equine deaths and a large number of serious clinical cases,” pointing out that “The science provided by epidemiologists is clear: stopping the [any horse racing] competitions for four weeks is the only way to prevent the spread of this terrible disease,” he says.

Equine rhinopneumonitis is a viral disease caused by equine herpes virus Type 1 that affects horses, donkeys and mules. Transmission usually occurs through the respiratory tract, either by direct contact with an infected animal or by sharing feeding utensils. It has a short incubation period compared with many other viruses, with a fever typically developing within 48 hours.



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