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AHS in protection zone

Posted: 15/3/2014, 08:24

Public Situation Report One V 14 March 2014

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African Horse Sickness Outbreak

Porterville, Western Cape


h Suspect African horse sickness (AHS) cases were detected through clinical/passive surveillance by a private veterinarian consulting for an Arab horse farmer in the Porterville area. Samples collected from the property from the two clinical cases at the time tested positive to AHSV and subsequently typed as serotype 1 AHS.

h The positive cases have occurred in the AHS protection zone

h A containment zone with movement restrictions was notified by Western Cape State vet services on the 10th March 2014. The containment zone includes Gouda, Saron, Porterville and up to Piketberg and the Piekeniers Pass in the north of the zone

h Currently there is a two pronged approach to the outbreak

o 1. State officials are undertaking a census and clinical surveillance program in the containment zone starting around the affected property and moving outwards to its borders. Included in this is informing the public regarding the current state of the outbreak and explaining the containment zone movement requirements

o 2. Owners (or owners consulting veterinarians) who are informing State officials of suspect clinical cases are being visited and samples are being taken from suspect cases for AHS testing. This includes properties outside of the containment zone

h There is currently one affected property with confirmed AHS cases present within the containment zone

h There are 7 properties within the containment zone where clinical signs which may be associated with AHS are present and where sampling has been performed V results are pending for these farms

h The clinical signs seen on the affected property are mild in comparison to previous AHS outbreaks and no mortalities occurred that have been AHS confirmed as yet. We thus ask members of the public to be vigilant in their inspection of their horses in the containment area prior to riding or training them as exercising a horse with mild infection may cause the disease to progress faster than expected

h The State hopes to have completed their clinical surveillance and census of the current containment zone by the 21st March 2014

h Bi weekly operations meetings are being held with state and industry officials regarding the current state of the outbreak and frequent reports will be communicated

h The source of infection has yet to be established

h It is currently unknown when the containment zone and control measures will be relaxed

h Information regarding the containment zone (boundaries and control measures) can be accessed at

Dr John Grewar

State Veterinarian: Epidemiology

Sub-Programme: Veterinary Services

Department of Agriculture

Provincial Government of the Western Cape

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