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Horses put down after EIA outbreak

Three horses at a Lamar County facility have been put down and others are under quarantine after an outbreak of Equine Infectious Anemia. The horses which were put down were tested in another state then traced here after the tests were positive. Sheriff Brad White, whose investigators have been involved along with USDA and Georgia Department of Agriculture personnel, likened the disease to AIDS in humans. All the horses at the facility are now under a strict 60-day quarantine which will not be lifted until all the horse there test negative for EIA. The horses that were put down, termed reactors, were capable of spreading the disease. Owners of reactors have two choices. Horses can be put down or quarantined at least 200 yards from all other horses for life – a difficult proposition at best. The spread of the disease is possible but not likely. While insects like horse flies and deer flies can spread EIA, the most common source is shared needles between horses or plasma transfusions. State and federal authorities continue to monitor the situation but would not identify the facility where the infected horses were found. The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) noted the local outbreak was discovered Aug. 6 after EIA surveillance trace. The local outbreak is the only one in Georgia over the last 90 days, according to EDCC.

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