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Ohio Confirms Case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in Northeast Ohio

horses in a field

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio, May 6, 2022 – The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) has confirmed a positive case of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) in a Summit County horse. The horse was quarantined by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) after an initial ELISA Test was non-negative.

The horse was being moved across state lines, which requires it to be tested for EIA under state law. The horse was humanely euthanized on May 8, 2022. Additional horses (part of the boarding stable) are also under quarantine, pending serial testing by state officials. 

EIA is blood-borne infectious viral disease that produces a persistent infection and may potentially be fatal. The frequency of EIA cases in the U.S. is low. The last known positive case in Ohio was in 2016. For more information, please visit the USDA APHIS EIA webpage.

Horses 12 months of age and older are required to be tested for EIA in some cases, such as change of ownership or interstate movement. For more information on rules and requirements for testing horses, please visit Chapter 901:1-19 - Ohio Administrative Code | Ohio Laws and Rule 901:1-17-07 - Ohio Administrative Code | Ohio Laws.

EIA is a lifelong infection with no approved treatments. There is no vaccine approved for use in the U.S.

EIA can be transmitted by biting flies and blood transmission through needles. Reducing exposure to biting flies through management practices may reduce the spread of infection. To prevent iatrogenic spread, never reuse needles, syringes or IV sets. Use only new, clean needles with injectable medicines and only licensed and approved blood products. Blood transfusions should be performed by licensed veterinarians using donor horses which have tested negative for EIA and other blood-borne infections like equine piroplasmosis.

Since EIA control efforts began over 40 years ago, the reactor rate fell from 4% to .004% among tested animals. USDA recommends testing every equid annually.