August 05, 2010

EIA Discovered in Horse in Vernon County

As part of a routine Coggins test - a regulatory surveillance requirement in Missouri for all horses changing ownership or exhibiting - a horse located on a farm near Walker, Mo. has tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). The Missouri Department of Agriculture was notified last week of the positive result and the farm was immediately quarantined until the test results could be confirmed. EIA is a contagious, viral disease most commonly transmitted through horse flies, deer flies, mosquitoes and gnats. This disease is found in Equine species including horses, ponies, donkeys and mules and does not affect humans.

The EIA-positive horse was humanely euthanized at the request of the owner and under the recommendation of Missouri's State Veterinarian Dr. Taylor Woods.

"Even though this disease does not affect humans, it is a disease that can have a devastating impact on our horse industry," said Director of Agriculture Dr. Jon Hagler. "We are continuing to closely monitor the situation."

Five additional horses were tested at the same time of the initial Coggins test - all resulting in negative results. An additional 35 horses from the property were also tested as a precautionary measure and all had negative results.

Horse farm owners can take preventive measures to decrease the risk of animals contracting EIA by establishing effective fly control programs through foggers, fly repellants and electronic or automatic fly control systems and sterilizing and disinfecting animal health equipment including syringes and needles. EIA-infected animals become lifelong carriers. There are no known vaccines available to prevent or protect from this disease.

For more information, visit or contact the Department of Agriculture's Animal Health Division at (573) 751-3377.