Eko Ondersoek – African Horse Sickness

Beautiful and majestic horses reduced to hobbling, feverish animals frothing from the nose and close

Beautiful and majestic horses reduced to hobbling, feverish animals frothing from the nose and close to death. This is what characterises African Horse Sickness (AHS) in South Africa. It is a highly infectious disease that is transmitted by a small fly called a Culicoides Midge. Zebras are resistant to the disease but are the main carriers of the virus and flies can easily transmit it from wild zebras to nearby horses. The disease has been around since horses were introduced to South Africa in the 17th century. The Eko Ondersoek team is contracted by a community support group called AHS Challenge who say that they want to help minimise the impact of the disease by educating horse owners in South Africa. The team also investigates the vaccines available through the Animal Diseases ACT as well as unlicensed vaccines like the one referred to as the “inactive field isolate”. How can the public be educated about which vaccines to use and to take control measures such as preventing horses from being bitten by the Culicoides Midge? Join us to find out!

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We would like to know how we can help equestrian sport and activities in South Africa, if you have any questions or suggestions, let us know.
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