Horse Virus Alert
Japanese encephalitis is an acute mosquito-borne viral disease that occurs mostly in pigs and horses.
The virus has recently been confirmed in piggeries in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.
In horses, the disease is usually mild but severe encephalitis can occur which may be fatal. Signs include fever, jaundice, lethargy and anorexia.
Neurological signs include incoordination, difficulty swallowing, impaired vision, and rarely a horse can become over excited.
Some horses can be infected with the disease but not show any signs.
This is a nationally notifiable disease so it must be reported to biosecurity authorities. If you see signs of Japanese encephalitis in horses or donkeys, immediately call the Emergency Animal Disease Watch hotline on 1800 675 888.
Horse owners can help their horses avoid mosquito bites. Put a hooded rug and fly mask on your horse and apply a safe insect repellent.
The virus does not present any food safety issues from eating pork meat or products.
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