Tennessee’s state veterinarian confirms four horses are infected with equine infectious anemia (EIA) in the western part of the state.
The four equines are stabled at three locations in Henderson County. Two rounds of screenings have confirmed the positive EIA test results. State officials are now testing additional horses stabled with and near the infected horses.
“We take EIA very seriously,” state veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said. “Early detection and containment are critical to preventing the spread.”
Tennessee animal health regulations require annual testing of all horses that change ownership or are commingled with horses of multiple ownership. A Coggins test is utilized to determine the presence of EIA.
The often fatal disease affects horses, donkeys, and mules. No other animals or humans can get the virus.The blood borne illness is typically transmitted by biting insects, but also can be transmitted from horse to horse through infected needles. There is no cure or vaccine to prevent EIA.
Symptoms include fever, depression, weight loss, swelling and anemia.
Since there are no treatment options for infected horses, the United States Department of Agriculture requires euthanasia or strict lifelong quarantine for horses testing positive for EIA. Studies show that a 200 yard separation between an isolated positive EIA and other horses prevents transmission of the disease.