Equine Flu: Musselburgh cancellation a 'real, real shame' - clerk of course

Modesto Morganelli
Febbraio 7, 2019

A number of stables, including those of Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls, were placed on lockdown while further testing was undertaken on horses who might have come into contact with the McCain runners earlier in the week.

Equine Influenza is a highly contagious disease and is considered to be the most serious respiratory virus to occur in horses in the UK.

It is not usually fatal, although there can be complications from pneumonia.

Recovery can sometimes take several months.

So what exactly is equine influenza, and why has it got so many people in the horse racing industry so anxious?

No further positive tests have been recorded, but another three days are needed before it will be possible to make a decision on whether it is safe to resume racing as the disease can take that long to show its symptoms. The final Grade One event in Britain before the Cheltenham Festival, meanwhile, is the Betfair Ascot Chase at Ascot on 16 February.

Horses from the infected yard raced at Ayr and Ludlow on Wednesday, potentially exposing a significant number of horses from across Britain and in Ireland.

Racing will continue in Ireland at Dundalk on Friday, Naas on Saturday and Punchestown on Sunday, but no English horses will be allowed to run in Ireland.

"We're very fortunate in this country that our [racehorse] population is vaccinated against equine influenza", Dunshea said, "but we're still trying to understand what particular strain of equine influenza this is".

Yes. Mandatory vaccination of racehorses was introduced by the Jockey Club in 1981 following an outbreak in 1979 which caused widespread disruption. Those three horses had been vaccinated against the illness.

A major outbreak in 2007 in Australia infected more than 10,000 horses, costing the horse-racing industry millions of dollars.

Horse racing across the United Kingdom has been banned today, Thursday, in a bid to stop the spread of a serious disease.

However, the major difference with the United Kingdom was that the racehorses in Australia had not been vaccinated and immunity was far lower than it is in the UK.

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