actions during an outbreak
Obtaining a positive diagnosis for flu can be very helpful in deciding how to manage the yard and instigating appropriate isolation procedures, as well as how to best manage the individual animal. It is also important to know if a horse has suffered from equine influenza as it will affect the length of time required for recovery post infection, in order to prevent secondary complications.
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If you suspect a horse has influenza, it is important to isolate the individual with appropriate barrier nursing in place. The virus spreads extremely quickly, so if it is appropriate it is sensible to isolate all in contacts as well. The virus can survive for limited periods outside of the host, so fomite transmission via clothing, tack and other inanimate objects such as brushes is also possible and must be considered when it comes to nursing methods. The virus is fairly labile so normal detergents are sufficient to kill it.
The virus can be spread easily and very quickly from horse to horse, with close to a 100% infection rate to be expected in a group of unvaccinated individuals. Most horses exposed to the virus will show signs within a period of 1 to 5 days.