December 7, 2022

Even the horses of Baguio have been hit by infection.

The City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO) reported last week 27 of the 250 horses at Wright Park have died due to bacterial infections from March to October last year.

To prevent the spread of infection, Mayor Benjamin Magalong on April 30 issued an executive order requiring the owners to permanently isolate their horses by removing them at the park.

The CVAO tested the horses after pony boys at Wright Park reported the deaths of the animals.

Results of the laboratory tests showed that 21 out of 158 horses tested had equine infectious anemia (EIA) or swamp fever and four had bacterial infection.

The mayor said the horses may only be allowed in the park after the CVAO certifies that the animals have completely recovered from the infection.

According to the MSD Veterinary Manual, EIA is an infectious disease of equids or mammals of the horse family such as extant horses, donkeys, mules, and zebras. 

Symptoms include fever, muscle weakness, thrombocytopenia or low blood platelet count, jaundice, increased heart and respiration rates, hemorrhages on mucous membranes or epistaxis, and collapse, that all could result in death. 

Permanent isolation or euthanasia are among the methods to stop the spread of the infection. There is no cure or vaccine for the virus, according to the CVAO.

The virus is transmitted through biting flies, blood, milk, and body secretions. – Rimaliza A. Opiña