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Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why doesn’t the EDCC provide information on specific locations?

Where does the information come from?

Why did the EDCC not report on a specific case?

Can I report a case or outbreak?

Can I request additional information on a specific case?

What are the clinical signs of a specific disease?

How can I keep my horse from getting sick?

How can I contact my State Veterinarian?

What is the National Equine Health Plan?

What’s the difference between a domestic and a foreign disease?

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

What are “reportable”, “monitored”, and “actionable” diseases and how do they differ?

Who manages quarantines for reportable diseases?

How can I help the EDCC?

What role does the USDA play in controlling equine disease?

 

Why doesn’t the EDCC provide information on specific locations?

The EDCC will not provide information on specific locations unless the event or facility is public or permission is granted. Information on specific locations is not provided to us by reporting veterinarians to avoid liability for potential harm to a facility. Outbreak alerts are provided so that those travelling with their horses can inquire about their destination facilities and so that facilities can ensure that they are practising adequate biosecurity.

 

Where does the information come from?

The majority of the alerts posted are reports from state animal health officials, state veterinarians, or state departments of agriculture. Some reports are submitted by private veterinary practitioners overseeing an outbreak. All alerts must be received from a licensed veterinarian and require a confirmed laboratory diagnosis with the exception of Strangles cases, which may be diagnosed solely on clinical signs.

 

Why did the EDCC not report on a specific case?

There are a couple reasons a case you know of may not have been reported on the EDCC site:

  • The disease isn’t reportable in that state. Each state has its own reportable disease list; the list for each state can be found on the Reportable Diseases page. Most cases of non-reportable diseases are not reported to the EDCC, though private practitioners are encouraged to report cases of non-reportable disease when they are acting as the attending veterinarian and the disease poses a risk to other horses.
  • The case hasn’t been verified. All information posted by the EDCC must be verified by a state animal health official, the state veterinarian, the department of agriculture, or the attending veterinarian and diagnostically confirmed before an alert can be released in order to ensure that accurate information is available to the industry.

 

Can I report a case or outbreak?

Outbreaks can only be reported by state animal health officials, state veterinarians, departments of agriculture, or a licensed veterinarian with confirmation of diagnosis from an accredited diagnostic laboratory. Concerned owners can request the attending veterinarian report an outbreak to the EDCC.

 

Can I request additional information on a specific case?

With the exception of specific locations, names, or businesses, the EDCC posts all of the information provided by the reporting veterinarian. Additional information can be requested of the State Veterinarian, the State Department of Agriculture or veterinarians familiar with the outbreak though additional information may not be available.

 

What are the clinical signs of a specific disease?

The EDCC maintains up-to-date factsheets for owners and veterinarians to provide information on topics such as transmission, frequency, clinical signs, treatment, and prevention. Factsheets and guidelines are available for Coronavirus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, Equine herpesvirus (EHV-1 and EHV-4), Equine Infectious Anemia, Equine Influenza, Equine Piroplasmosis, Rabies, Strangles, West Nile Virus, and Western Equine Encephalitis.

 

How can I keep my horse from getting sick?

Ensure strict biosecurity practices are followed at home, while travelling with your horse, and at equine events. Appropriate biosecurity should be enforced at stables and farms where horses are frequently moving on and off the property. For information on general biosecurity recommendations go to the EDCC main Biosecurity Page.  Additional information on biosecurity for specific situations can be found on the subpages: Travel, Disinfection, Events, Facilities, Isolation and Quarantine, Racetracks, and Breeding Operations

 

How can I contact my state veterinarian?

The EDCC provides contact information for every state veterinarian on the State Veterinary Offices page.

 

What is the National Equine Health Plan?

The National Equine Health Plan (NEHP) was drafted with input from the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Horse Council, the Unites States Department of Agriculture, and multiple veterinarians. It was created to outline the steps deemed necessary to improve equine health in the United States. The NEHP includes information on disease prevention and control, disease and health monitoring, communication, education, research, diagnostics, and biosecurity. Roles and Responsibilities is an ancillary document which outlines the expectations for each facet of the industry (USDA, state animal health officials, veterinarians, and industry stakeholders) in the event of an equine health crisis.

 

What’s the difference between a domestic and foreign disease?

Domestic diseases are endemic to the United States which means that they are either native to the U.S. or occur commonly. Foreign Diseases are diseases not considered to be normally found in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture extensively screens for these diseases in horses that are imported from other countries to ensure there is no transmission of a foreign disease to US horses.

 

What is the difference between isolation and quarantine?

Isolation is used to limit the movement of horses that show clinical signs of or have tested positive for a disease. Quarantine may be used to restrict the movement of both affected and non-affected horses if there is a risk of exposure to a disease. The goal of both isolation and quarantine is to prevent new exposure and disease spread.

 

What are “reportable”, “monitored”, and “actionable” diseases and how do they differ?

If a disease is classified as “reportable”, attending veterinarians and diagnostic laboratories are required to report any confirmed case to the state veterinarian. States maintain data on “monitored” diseases. The state is required to take action in the event of a case or outbreak of an “actionable” disease. It is important to note the following:

· each state has a different list of reportable, monitored, and/or actionable diseases;

· some states do not have a list of monitored or actionable diseases,

· the requirements for reporting diseases differ from state-to-state (some states required certain diseases to be reported within 24 hours of a confirmed diagnosis, other states may not require a report of those cases until the end of the week or month),

·  the only uniformly reportable equine disease in the United States in Equine Infectious Anemia,

· states are not required to report their cases to the EDCC. 

 

Who manages quarantine for reportable diseases?

The management of quarantines for reportable diseases varies from state to state depending on their policies. For some diseases, the state will mandate and maintain the quarantine for all reportable diseases. In other states, a quarantine will be enacted and maintained by the attending veterinarian.

 

How can I help the EDCC?

The EDCC is an industry-supported organization that relies completely on donations to maintain function. To support the EDCC, you can make a tax-deductible donation which is managed through the AAEP Foundation. Donations placed through the AAEP Foundation are tax deductible and used directly for EDCC operations. Please make your annual donation payable to the AAEP Foundation with the designation for the “Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC).” 

 

 

What role does the USDA play in controlling equine diseases?

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is an agency within the United States Department of Agriculture which works to defend America's equine population from infectious diseases. In the event that a pest or disease of concern is detected, APHIS implements emergency protocols and partners with States to quickly manage or eradicate the outbreak. USDA APHIS works in a variety of ways to protect and improve the health, quality, and marketability of our nation's equine population, and to prevent, control, or eliminate disease conditions. These include the following and are described in the National Equine Health Plan (http://equinediseasecc.org/national-equine-health-plan).

  • Animal disease incident management
  • Epidemiologic investigations
  • Diagnostic testing
  • Surveillance
  • Monitoring
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Animal disease traceability
  • Oversight of the licensing of equine vaccines and other biologic products