A horse from Eastern Oregon is being quarantined at Oregon State University after being diagnosed with equine influenza, a rare disease that does not affect humans but can spread rapidly among horses.
“Outbreaks don’t occur on a regular basis,” said Keith Poulsen, an internal medicine specialist at OSU’s Lois Bates Acheson Veterinary Hospital in Corvallis.
“We haven’t had one in this area for several years.”
The 4-year-old female quarterhorse, which was purchased at a sale in Hermiston last weekend, is being kept in isolation while receiving treatment. Several horses that were in close contact with the infected animal have also shown signs of equine flu, though they have not yet been diagnosed.
Horses that develop a fever, coughing, nasal discharge or other symptoms should be checked by a veterinarian, Poulsen advised.
“Equine influenza is especially dangerous to foals, and foaling season has just begun,” Poulsen said.