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Equine Piroplasmosis Death In Florida

Wednesday, 20th August 2008

Florida Agriculture & Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson announced a horse in Manatee County "has been diagnosed with Equine Piroplasmosis, an animal disease that the US has been considered free of since 1988," reported bloodhorse.com. Blood & tissue testing on a 7YO gelding euthanased after a 3-week illness "confirmed the presence of the disease in the animal". State officials "immediately quarantined the premises in which the horse resided, as well as 2 adjacent properties containing horses pending a determination of their status". An on-going investigation "is being conducted by the State Veterinarian's Office to determine the source of the disease & whether it has spread beyond the immediate area where the infected animal was housed". Equine Piroplasmosis is a blood-borne parasitic disease primarily transmitted to horses by ticks or contaminated needles. It was eradicated from Florida in the 1980s & the tick species believed to transmit EP in other countries "have not been identified in Florida in many years". The disease is not directly contagious from one horse to another, but requires direct blood transfer.

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