Welcome to EqUIFLUNET
Our aim is to improve awareness of equine influenza amongst veterinary surgeons and horse owners. Flu can have a huge impact on competitive events, but may also cause severe problems in pet horses if not recognized quickly.
We are an OIE reference laboratory for equine flu and provide support to other laboratories around the World. We also collaborate with an international network of laboratories and experts to help select virus strains suitable for use in commercial vaccines. This work is dependent on your equine nasal swab samples, so please call your veterinary surgeon if you think your horse has flu and have them sent in. The Horserace Betting Levy Board supports our work, so we can offer free diagnostic testing for suspected cases. Sign up HERE
Twitter - follow us @Equiflunet to find out about outbreaks in the UK and abroad. Please spread the word and let us know if you hear of any outbreaks close to you.
Tell-Tail – register for this text alert scheme provided by the Animal Health Trust and Merial Animal Health. Alternatively text your Name, Practice name and postcode to 07797 801 863.
Please be on the lookout for the classic influenza signs including a harsh dry cough, nasal discharge, pyrexia and inappetance - particularly in the affected areas, or in horses that have recently been transported. Signs may be mild in vaccinated horses.
Vets - please remember we can test your samples for free through the surveillance scheme. Click here to sign up. You can send in samples to us for free diagnosis by using your equine flu swabbing kits and by taking paired blood samples. If you need any more information or more kits and submission forms please contact us.
December – Gloucestershire outbreak (update)
On 2 December 2016, the Animal Health Trust confirmed two further cases of equine influenza on a premises in Gloucestershire. The affected animals were not vaccinated and presented with nasal discharge and coughing. They had been in direct contact with the index case reported on 30 November 2016. The positive diagnoses were confirmed by qPCR on nasopharyngeal swabs. Control measures have been implemented.
30 November- Gloucestershire outbreak
On 30 November 2016, the Animal Health Trust confirmed a case of equine influenza on premises in Gloucestershire. The affected animal is a six-year-old unvaccinated mare who presented with mucopurulent nasal discharge, pyrexia and coughing on 28November and was sampled on 29 November. It has been in direct contact with eight other horses of which six are not vaccinated. These six animals have developed signs of coughing and mucopurulent nasal discharge. The positive diagnosis was confirmed by qPCR on a nasopharyngeal swab. Control measures have been implemented.
4 November - Lancashire outbreak
On 4th November 2016, the Animal Health Trust confirmed a case of equine influenza on a premises in Lancashire, England with seven horses. The affected animal, which had been purchased from a sale approximately a week previously, is a five-month-old, unvaccinated colt that presented with a mucopurulent nasal discharge. The positive diagnosis was confirmed by qPCR on a nasopharyngeal swab.
14 October - Stirlingshire outbreak
On 13 October, the Animal Health Trust confirmed a case of equine influenza on premises in Stirlingshire, Scotland. The affected animal was a five month old unvaccinated filly, imported from overseas ten days previously. Clinical signs were first noted on 7 October and consisted of a harsh cough, mucopurulent nasal discharge and pyrexia. The animal was examined and sampled on 12 October and has a co-infection with Streptococcus equi. It has been in indirect contact with two other vaccinated animals, who have also presented with signs of respiratory disease. The positive diagnosis was confirmed by qPCR on a nasopharyngeal swab. Control measures have been implemented.
PREVIOUS EQUINE INFLUENZA OUTBREAKS:
Sequence of the HA and NA genes of all viruses isolated during 2015 show them to be similar to viruses isolated in the UK throughout 2014. They belong to the Florida Clade 2 sublineage of H3N8 equine influenza, sharing a substitution at amino acid 144 of the HA protein. Nearly all outbreaks in 2015 were in unvaccinated horses, or those whose vaccinations were not up to date. Keeping up to date with vaccinations will help protect your horse.
FOR FREE INFLUENZA DIAGNOSIS
2016 OUTBREAK MAP
CURRENT VACCINE STRAINS