Illinois Horse EIA

Illinois: Location of Horse with Deadly EIA Unknown


The Illinois State Veterinarian reports it received a positive Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) test result from a horse stabled in Northeast Illinois.

A veterinarian pulled the horse’s blood, but the animal was removed from the facility before the positive test came back in mid-November. The state has not located the horse.

The often fatal disease affects horses, donkeys, and mules. No other animals or humans can contract the virus.
The blood-borne illness is typically transmitted by biting insects. It can also be transmitted from horse to horse through infected needles. There is no cure or vaccine to prevent EIA.

Authorities tested the other horses and quarantined the facility. Another horse tested positive for EIA leading to its euthanasia.

Symptoms include fever, depression, weight loss, swelling and anemia.

A Coggins test is utilized to determine the presence of EIA. By law, any horse traveling to an event, being sold or entering the state must have a negative Coggins less than a year old. Illinois does not recognize “test pending” results for EIA.

There are no treatment options for infected horses so 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.

The USDA is investigating the case.