Tuesday, October 19

Agriculture investigates the outbreak of an infectious equine virus detected in Valencia

Agriculture investigates the outbreak of an infectious equine virus detected in Valencia.

Agriculture investigates the outbreak of an infectious equine virus detected in Valencia.

The Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Climate Emergency and Ecological Transition has opened an investigation to clarify an outbreak of Equine rhinopneumonia detected in Valencia. The alert jumped at the end of February at the Club Escuela de Salto (CES), forcing the facility to be immediately immobilized. The analysis of the samples confirmed the initial suspicion and the International Equestrian Federation already considers it as “the most serious contagion in decades in Europe”.

The department that directs Mireia MollĂ  now also inspects other facilities near the CES. This is a performance of the Animal Health technicians of the Generalitat Valenciana, in permanent contact with those of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. Two horses have died in Valencia and had to be sacrificed due to the seriousness of their condition. Another seventeen remain hospitalized and one has been discharged.

The degree of transmission of the virus is such that sports activity has been suspended in ten countries until next March 28. From the first moment, the specimens were isolated and separated into subgroups based on whether or not they had symptoms. In addition, twenty-seven veterinarians from the Spanish Horse Riding Federation and the Veterinary Clinic Hospital of the CEU Cardenal Herrera University participated in the work of the field hospital initially installed at the CES. All this, following the strict protocol established by the General Subdirectorate of Animal Health and Hygiene and Traceability of the ministry, chaired by the Valencian Luis Planas.

Sources from the Equidae Commission of the Official College of Veterinarians of Valencia assure that it is a “very serious” issue due to the “high degree of infectivity”, which in Spain forces to activate the alert system immediately. Something that does not happen in other countries.

It is believed that the “zero patient” could have been in France, and they influence that in Valencia a series of factors have converged that have led to the “viral explosion” due to the mobility that this type of international tournaments entails, the immunosuppressed state in the that many horses arrive after long journeys and close contact with other animals.

Very strict sanitary cord

Rhinopneumonia is a worldwide contagious enzootic viral disease caused by equine herpesvirus (family Herperviridae, genus Varicellovirus) that affects horses, donkeys and mules. The contagion occurs mainly through the respiratory tract, either by direct contact between an infected animal and another free of disease, or by sharing feeding utensils.

It has a short incubation period, with fever appearing 24-48 hours after infection. The obligation to establish a sanitary cordon involves the chemical disinfection of beds, pools and veterinary instruments. Something extensible to the clothing of waiters and caregivers.


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