Equine Influenza Outbreak

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
15,377
5,006
113
Lots of venues around me are cancelling events and closing their doors for the time being. Our vets are today advising boosters as has been publicised.
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
15,377
5,006
113
Thanks for posting those reported cases, @Jessey. I'd be interested to compare it to reports from the same time last year, to see if it really IS an outbreak....or whether it is just more in the public eye because it has hit the racing industry.
 

GaryB

Well-Known Member
Mar 23, 2015
1,021
1,674
113
Harvey is having a booster on Tuesday - he was due in April anyway. My SJ clinic for Sunday has been cancelled.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,987
10,277
113
38
Suffolk, UK
Thanks for posting those reported cases, @Jessey. I'd be interested to compare it to reports from the same time last year, to see if it really IS an outbreak....or whether it is just more in the public eye because it has hit the racing industry.
I don't think the panic is over the number of cases, more the strain and the fact vaccinated horses are getting it. There's talk in one of the racing post articles about suspicions that is it a mutated version. If that were the case it would render current vaccinations less effective at best.
 
  • Like
Reactions: lauren123

Pete's Mum

Well-Known Member
Jun 4, 2014
1,436
1,394
113
I rang my vet for advice and subsequently, Pete's having a booster on Monday as he falls just outside the 6 month window.

We are on a large yard with lots of comings and goings, ourselves included.
 

Mary Poppins

Well-Known Member
Oct 10, 2004
11,951
3,098
113
Visit site
Thanks for posting those reported cases, @Jessey. I'd be interested to compare it to reports from the same time last year, to see if it really IS an outbreak....or whether it is just more in the public eye because it has hit the racing industry.
According to the Jeremy Vine show, there were 3 cases reported in 2018 and 8 cases in 2019. So yes, it has gone up in percentage terms but the numbers are all very low. Will be interesting to see how it develops but I can’t help thinking it is a huge panic without much foundation. All the events are cancelled this weekend, I would be gutted but at the moment I can’t take Ben anywhere anyway.
 

Huggy

Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
497
476
63
63
I think we'll just carry on as normal - with the close proximity of forest ponies and yard on 3 sides, it's not going to make any difference if we hack out.
 

newforest

Keep it simple
Mar 15, 2008
25,601
9,018
113
A field
I think because it's racehorses it's hit the headlines. The volume that could be potentially infected is a lot.

Does anyone know how many horses get the flu each year anyway?
 

Ale

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2012
7,949
6,439
113
Surely you can still get the flu even if you have the flu vaccine, if you were tested within the right time frame you would test positive. Because it's a virus and if it's in your system then you test positive? The vaccine just helps your body to fight it off quicker and with less severe or no symptoms. Plenty of horses get a snotty nose for a couple of days and it's probably put down to dusty hay etc. Are they just finding something that has always been there because they are suddenly testing for it?
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,402
3,088
113
Yorkshire
Plenty of horses get a snotty nose for a couple of days and it's probably put down to dusty hay etc. Are they just finding something that has always been there because they are suddenly testing for it?
That's pretty much what the trainer quoted in the article says - he says that flu is endemic in the horse population and every trainer probably has two or three. Basically because vaccinated horses don't get very sick, so it's nothing that normally would be worried about.

The article also goes on to say (quoted from Ramzan, a partner in the Rossdales veterinary practice and awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons) that "If a new strain of flu is going to break through the excellent vaccination protocols already in use in most yards, history tells us it will happen regardless of these measures, as flu is far less containable than other more serious diseases like strangles or neurological herpes virus."

"... just as in people we should expect ‘bad’ flu years from time to time, and we're probably overdue one. Perhaps we're on the cusp of just such a year, although this is by no means certain at this early stage. If so, we can expect some poor-performing yards and more respiratory disease than usual, but as with previous episodes it will pass, vaccines will get updated and we’ll then have another extended period of relative health in the population.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,987
10,277
113
38
Suffolk, UK
I spoke with the lab at Rossdales, they think it's a good chance the H3N8 FC1 that's testing positive has mutated. Vaccinations will catch up. It's not the first time it's mutated, there's also H3N8 FC2 and it jumped the species boundary in 2000 to become CIV (canine flu) H3N8. H3N8 they believe was a mutation of H7N7 which appears to have become extinct since. Its a virus, the vaccine for human flu changes every single year as the virus evolves.
I don't think the racing shutdown is an overreaction as such, they are protecting a multi million pound business, it's just smart to pause until tests are back.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kite_Rider

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
8,158
5,248
113
So, if it's a mutated version of the flu which our horses have been vaccinated against is there really any point in a booster? I guess it's a bit belt and braces.
I had an email about it from the BHS yesterday, they said that there were only 2 confirmed cases in the whole of 2018 so if we've had 8 or 9 so far this year that's a huge increase.
Belle was vaccinated in May last year so out of the 6 month protection time frame, I'm undecided if the get the booster for her though as our vets, big equine vets, have said they have had a lot of cases of lammi following flu vaccination recently and to be honest I don't know which is worst for her, the risk of flu or the potential risk of lammi :(
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jessey

newforest

Keep it simple
Mar 15, 2008
25,601
9,018
113
A field
So, if it's a mutated version of the flu which our horses have been vaccinated against is there really any point in a booster? I guess it's a bit belt and braces.
I had an email about it from the BHS yesterday, they said that there were only 2 confirmed cases in the whole of 2018 so if we've had 8 or 9 so far this year that's a huge increase.
Belle was vaccinated in May last year so out of the 6 month protection time frame, I'm undecided if the get the booster for her though as our vets, big equine vets, have said they have had a lot of cases of lammi following flu vaccination recently and to be honest I don't know which is worst for her, the risk of flu or the potential risk of lammi :(
Mine was off colour when she had hers done.
Sore feet, general lethargic, switched off.
I don't know if works to give you the flu virus for the body to fight it off type thing?
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,987
10,277
113
38
Suffolk, UK
Mine was off colour when she had hers done.
Sore feet, general lethargic, switched off.
I don't know if works to give you the flu virus for the body to fight it off type thing?
Yes, by definition that's how a vaccine works, though I'm not sure if flu is a live vaccine.
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,402
3,088
113
Yorkshire
Yes, by definition that's how a vaccine works, though I'm not sure if flu is a live vaccine.
I was interested (I know the human flu vaccine isn't live) and found an article on a USA vet site which said that intramuscular injections are usually inactivated, intranasal vaccines are usually live. The interesting thing was that it went on to talk about a live, intranasal, version of the flu vaccine, implying that it offered better protection than the inactive injection. Has anyone heard of this? I've only ever been offered an injection by my vet.
 

domane

Gracie's mum
Jul 31, 2005
15,377
5,006
113
If the flu has mutated, do they have a new vaccine...or even enough to supply the current "emergency" demand?
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,402
3,088
113
Yorkshire
And ... the 8 or 9 cases we've had this year (I think the figures have gone up now according to FB, which must be true) are so widespread they can't have caught it from each other, and presumably they've caught it from somewhere, which implies there may be a lot more unrecognised/unreported cases about. I wonder if the trainer in that article is correct in thinking that this is going to open a big can of worms.

A statement from our vets this morning said that horses vaccinated with the current version have better protection and are less likely to suffer severe symptoms than unprotected horses. They didn't say why a protected horse would need a booster before the annual booster is due though :rolleyes: I'm glad Raf was done at the end of October, if ever there was a horse bound to get it, it would be him. There's lots of horses on our yard that are either not vaccinated at all, or whose vaccinations have expired, so the vet is coming on Monday to do a mass jabbing session. The practice have warned it won't be until evening because they're struggling to get round everyone who wants their horses vaccinating.