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Equine Influenza Reported In Quebec

Published: July 21, 2020 5:02 pm ET

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The MAPAQ Equine Network in Quebec have announced that the Saint-Hyacinthe University Veterinary Hospital Centre has identified six cases of influenza, linked to an outbreak at the equine hospital.

According to a release, the first cases of positive horses were identified on July 16, using PCR tests performed on nasal sponges. Biosecurity measures and surveillance are enhanced at the hospital. Entry and exit of horses is strictly limited. The owners and the practicing veterinarians concerned have been notified.

The suspected source of the infection is a horse that exhibited respiratory signs upon admission to hospital. The racehorse comes from a stable in which horses travel for events outside of Quebec. In the stable, at least seven other horses showed signs compatible with equine influenza. Similar respiratory problems have also been reported in racehorses from other establishments.

Practicing veterinarians are encouraged to heighten their vigilance with regard to equine influenza. Horses participating in equine events are particularly at risk of exposure. It is being recommended that practicing veterinarians contact horse owners in order to:

• check the health status of their stable before any trip;
• recommend that they isolate potentially exposed horses if necessary;
• inform them of the clinical signs to watch out for;
• discuss vaccination with them.

The summer period, with its equestrian events, is conducive to the transmission of diseases such as influenza.

The Equine Network is invitin any concerned party to report any suspected cases of equine influenza without delay. Any situation likely to affect the health of the equine herd or the public health can be reported by contacting the MAPAQ reporting centre at 1 844 ANIMAUX or by consulting the website of the Equine Network (

To view the original release, which is in French, click here.

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