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  • Writer's pictureMenchie Kinao

27 horses in Baguio City die from ‘incurable’ swamp fever

Updated: May 8, 2021

Baguio City, Philippines-Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) also known as "swamp fever" has so far claimed lives of at least 27 horses mainly used for local and tourist attraction at Wright Park.

Laboratory investigation from March-April conducted by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) showed 21 out of 158 horses tested EIA positive.

The bacterial infection causing the said virus, as disclosed by City Veterinarian Dr. Brigitte Piok, is from an insect bite, specifically from horse flies.

The symptoms of swamp fever include weight loss, bleeding and swelling of the legs and chest.

Piok explained that although swamp fever is not transmissible to humans, it is incurable and can easily be spread through horse flies, further citing that once the disease is detected, the horse can only be quarantined, euthanized or put down.

"Hindi siya curable so kailangan talaga ang recommendation ng World Animal Health na i-isolate or mawala talaga yung kabayo or euthanized," Piok said.

As reported by the City Public Information Office, the complete recovery from the infection shall only be certified by the CVAO. The office is currently monitoring 256 other horses.

Earlier, the Local Government Unit headed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong issued Executive order No. 56 series of 2021 requiring the mandatory isolation of all sick horses in Baguio City as the swamp fever is a notifiable disease listed in the World Health Organization and must be reported to public health authorities due to health risks.

The disease has been recorded from all over the world, including Philippines from 1980 to 1989.



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