Although at times it may seem that winter is never-ending in parts of Canada, spring is actually only a couple of months away. Along with spring comes insect season, and along with insects comes more than a few viruses. One of these is the virus that causes equine infectious anemia (EIA). This pathogen is a retrovirus like the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but EIA only affects equids (e.g. horses, donkeys, mules). It’s a very serious concern in the horse world, because horses become infected for life, and in Canada we have strict control measures to help prevent the spread of EIA into and within the country. Nonetheless, in 2013 cases were detected on numerous premises in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Maps of the areas affected are available of the website of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
To help horse owners understand more about this disease, the existing control program and the reasons behind it, as well as how they can help prevent the spread of EIA, we’ve created two new info sheets in collaboration with Equine Guelph and Equine Canada: a full-length version complete with references (9 pages) and a shorter summary version (4 pages). Both versions are now freely available for download from the Worms & Germs Resources – Horses page, along with our many other equine infectious disease info sheets.