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African horse virus believed responsible for dozens of horse deaths in Northeast

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PHOTO: The Nation

The sudden deaths of dozens of racehorses in Thailand’s Northeast are now believed to be tied to an African horse virus. All of the dead animals, whose count now stands at 42, were found during an inspection of barns in Pak Chong district in Nakhon Ratchasima, north eastern Thailand.

Doctors from Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development suspect the deaths are from the first locally detected cases of African horse sickness.

Dr Pasawee Somjai, a veterinarian with the provincial office, did not give further details about the barns or their locations or when the deaths of the racehorses had taken place. Samples from the dead horses have been sent for a detailed autopsy at the National Institute of Animal Health and test results are expected in a week.

African horse sickness mainly attacks horses and donkeys, with gnats being the carriers. The virus attacks the lungs and respiratory system quickly and can kill a horse within hours. Pasawee said all the dead racehorses were buried to prevent insects from spreading the disease to others.

The Thailand Equestrian Federation circulated a letter on Thursday advising all members to stop moving horses out of their areas to stem the possible spread of the disease.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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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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