The process of vaccinating some 4,000 horses in the northeastern province of Korat to contain the spread of African Horse Sickness (AHS) has begun.
The deadly disease, that affects only horses and other equine animals, has been plaguing the northeast of Thailand over the past few weeks results in the deaths of more than 200 horses across seven provinces.
It is the first time that AHS has appeared in Southeast Asia, having originated in the tropical regions of Africa. The disease regularly spreads across the African continent, particularly to Southern Africa.
The disease is highly infectious and can spread rapidly among horses if not contained quickly. Aree Laikul of Kasetsart University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine said:
“Without any prevention, 10 out of 10 horses will contract the virus… nine out of 10 sick horses will die from it.”
Horse owners throughout Korat and the northeast have started installing mosquito nets to protect the horses from catching the disease in addition to conducting regular temperature checks and health assessments.
Sick horses have been placed in quarantine zones with the Thai Government banning the import and export of horses, zebras, and other equine animals.
If the disease is not managed by vaccinations it has the potential to wipe out all 11,800 horses in Thailand.
AHS is not reported in humans and has nothing to do with the current coronavirus pandemic.
Source: Reuters | Photo: Reuters