OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU lifts quarantine for equine influenza, cites swift biosecurity as key to halt outbreak

03/04/2013

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A horse treated for equine influenza at Oregon State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine earlier this month has fully recovered, and the large animal hospital there is once again accepting equine patients.

The horse, which recently arrived in Oregon from Texas, was quarantined at the hospital for 10 days.

“We chose to temporarily close the hospital to equine patients with non-emergency symptoms for a week as an added precaution because equine influenza can spread rapidly among horses and other equines,” said Keith Poulsen, an internal medicine specialist at the Lois Bate Acheson Veterinary Hospital. “Everything is back to normal now, and the horse has returned to its home in eastern Oregon.”

Equine influenza is the most common contagious respiratory pathogen for horses, though it is not transferable to humans or other animal species. Most animals that contact the disease fully recover.

The Large Animal Internal Medicine and Surgery Services program at OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine worked closely with the state veterinarian’s office to inform veterinarians and horse owners about the disease. Several horses from the sale in Hermiston, Ore., contracted respiratory disease consistent with equine influenza, Poulsen said, but no hospitalized horses at the OSU Veterinary Hospital developed respiratory disease.

Poulsen and his colleagues suggest that horse owners use caution when traveling with their horses and to contact their veterinarian or the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine with questions about equine influenza or any infectious disease.