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More than 100 horses dead as African Horse Sickness strikes Thailand

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Wiley Online Library

“This disease has just occurred in Thailand. We’ve never had it in the past”

The director-general of the Department of Livestock Development, Sorawit Thanito, says more than 100 horses in Thailand have died from African Horse Sickness (AHS). It’s the country’s first instance of the illness, which only affects animals. Latest government data show at least 131 horses have died across 4 provinces

Sorawit says the government has quarantined sick horses to limit the spread of the disease, adding that the government was notified in late March of AHS in the country.

“We have to investigate how this virus got to Thailand.”

“Horses that contract the illness can have fevers of over 39C, difficulty breathing and bleeding in the eyes.”

There has never been a case of AHS reported in humans and it is not related to the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, according to Sorawit.

The World Organisation for Animal Health suspended Thailand’s status as an “AHS Free Country” on March 27. Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan had their AHS-free statuses suspended in 2018. AHS is endemic in the central tropical regions of Africa, from where it spreads regularly to Southern Africa and occasionally to North Africa, according to the OIE.

SOURCE: Reuters

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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