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The 2007 outbreak of equine influenza in Australia: lessons learned for international trade in horses

Author(s) : J. Watson, P. Daniels, P. Kirkland, A. Carroll & M. Jeggo

Summary :

In August 2007 Australia experienced its first outbreak of equine influenza. The disease occurred first in a quarantine station for imported horses near Sydney and subsequently escaped into the general horse population. After an extensive campaign the disease was eradicated and Australia is again recognised as free of this disease. Equine influenza was then, and is now, recognised to be the major disease risk associated with live horse imports into Australia and measures designed to mitigate this risk formed the basis of the quarantine protocols then in place. Subsequent investigations into the cause of the outbreak identified failures in compliance with these quarantine requirements as a contributing factor. It is also likely that the immunity of horses vaccinated as part of the import protocol was less than optimal, and that this had a significant role to play in the escape of the disease from quarantine.
Equine influenza virus – H3N8 – Polymerase chain reaction – Quarantine – Serology – Trade – Vaccine.

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