African Horse Sickness in Thailand
Image credit: Infocus Photos/Alamy
Humans aren’t the only ones being terrorised by a virus – horses haven’t been spared either.
More than 100 horses were found dead in Thailand due to African Horse Sickness (AHS), a highly infectious and fatal disease originating in southern Africa that can only be spread among animals.
First recorded cases in Thailand
An estimated 131 horses have died across four provinces, as seen on the latest government data.
Mr. Sorawit Thanito, the director-general of the Department of Livestock Development, said that this was the first time Thailand has reported this disease. “We’ve never had it in the past,” he said. “We have to investigate how this virus got into Thailand.”
Symptoms of the disease include animals having body temperatures of over 39° celcius, breathing trouble, and even bleeding from their eyes. Horses are reported to be the most susceptible to the virus, while other animals such as elephants, dogs, and camels can be infected as well. The disease is not zootonic – meaning that it cannot be transmitted to humans from animals.
Sick horses under quarantine
The government has quarantined all sick horses to curb the spread of the disease. Mr. Sorawit also added that there have been no reported cases of AHS in humans, and that this is not related to the COVID-19 outbreak in anyway.
The outbreak of the disease has also caused The World Organisation for Animal Health to suspend Thailand’s status of being an “AHS-free country”.