Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The EDCC provides contact information for every state veterinarian on the State Veterinary Offices page.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Foundation for the Horse. Donations placed through The Foundation for the Horse are tax deductible and used directly for EDCC operations. Please make your annual donation payable to The Foundation for the Horse with the designation for the “Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC).”
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
- Emergency preparedness
- Animal disease traceability
- Oversight of the licensing of equine vaccines and other biologic products