Thirty-eight people in Riverside County died after an outbreak of horse flu, and many others are not expected to withstand the virus, officials announced Friday.
The first deaths occurred about two weeks ago with many people in the Reche Canyon area, while six other deaths were reported at the foothills of the Moreno Valley along Pigeon Pass, Heacock Street and Redlands Avenue. Said Riverside County Animal Services.
The horse flu, which characterizes horses, mules and donkeys, is highly contagious and spreads quickly through groups of horses in the form of aerosol droplets that are dispersed by coughing or transmitted by fomite, district officials said.
“It is important that we emphasize to the public the importance of preventing contact between sick hounds and healthy horses and donkeys, and at the same time avoiding all people sharing water and feeding equipment. feed and equipment, as well as limit exposure to the barrier to the greatest extent possible, ”said Emily Nietrzeba, a veterinarian with a horse specialist at the California Department of Agriculture and Food. .
Riverside County, Moreno Valley and San Bernardino County officials are helping to transport some sick dogs to the DonkeyLand nonprofit for quarantine and care. The burros will be vaccinated and monitored there, officials said, before being released back into the wild.
Veterinarians from the California Department of Agriculture and Food have also been involved to help sick people in Riverside County.
While humans are not sick, officials say humans can act as termites and transmit the virus between horses. In particular, horse owners are advised to stay away from the stable and consult a veterinarian about booster vaccines for previously vaccinated animals, avoiding traveling with their animals if they have come into contact with a sick dog and should be avoided by people with horses in their home.
Horse flu can cause fever, edema and enlarged lymph nodes. The cases were more severe in young horses, officials said, while older horses often had milder symptoms.
It is estimated that there are about 500 burros located in the hills between Riverside and San Bernardino counties.