By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) reported a horse at a private facility in Volusia County has tested positive for Rabies. This is the first confirmed equid rabies case in Florida for 2021.
The animal was euthanized.
Rabies is a fatal central nervous system disease that can affect all warm-blooded mammals, including humans.
It is caused by the rabies virus, Lyssavirus, from the family Rhabdoviridae.
Although it is not common in horses, it is considered a differential diagnosis for any horse exhibiting acute neurologic symptoms due to its zoonotic potential (ability to infect humans).
The most common route of infection in the horse is a bite wound from a wild carnivore or bat carrying the virus.
Reservoir hosts in the United States include, but are not limited to, skunks, raccoons, the red fox, dogs, cats and even other horses.
The incubation period for rabies in horses varies between nine days and one year.
The most common symptoms include unexplained paralysis or behavioral signs such as anorexia, irritability and hyperexcitability. Some horses seek solitude or become aggressive. Distress and extreme agitation associated with rabies infection may resemble colic.
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