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After the first outbreak of African horse sickness (AHS) contagion that killed nearly 550 horses, authorities announced that Thailand is winning the fight.
The Livestock Production Department added that it is accelerating blood testing on zebras nationally after experts reported an imported batch as the cause of the spread. Some horse owners have tried to sue the government over weak import regulations that they claim contributed to the first AHS epidemic in half a century into Asia.
As of May 28, no AHS deaths had been recorded for four consecutive days in all 12 provinces affected by the epidemic, said department director-general Sorawit Thanito. The epidemic, which is transmitted by midges, was first discovered in Nakhon Ratchasima on March 25. Cases were then observed in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chon Buri, Phetchaburi, Chaiyaphum, Ratchaburi, Sa Kaeo, Saraburi, Lop Buri, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Nayok and Chachoengsao. Horses with AHS experience signs of listlessness, lack of appetite, swollen eyes, and fever over 38 degrees centigrade. The goal is to vaccinate all horses in the 12 provinces within a 50-kilometer radius of known sites of infection. Currently, 4,796 horses were vaccinated within the next two weeks, out of a total of 7,999 targeted vaccinations, Sorawit said.
The outbreak had hit a total of 2,260 horses so far, sickening 590 and killing 548, he added. Most of the deaths occurred in the district of Pak Chong, Nakhon Ratchasima province, which recorded 435 deaths, representing 79.4 percent of all deaths. The Government has advised owners to use midge nets to protect their horses.
Source: The Nation Thailand