BAGUIO CITY - An equine viral disease known as swamp fever has been detected in Baguio City, following the deaths of 27 horses in March-April.
The city veterinary office said 21 out of 58 horses in the city have tested positive for Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) or swamp fever.
Swamp fever is incurable, according to Dr Brigitte Piok, the city's veterinarian. It is caused by a virus that produces symptoms in horses such as weight loss, bleeding and swelling of the legs and chest. The virus can spread through the blood by horse flies.
A horse found to have the disease can only be quarantined or put down, Piok said. "Hindi siya curable so kailangan talaga ang recommendation ng World Animal Health na i-isolate or mawala talaga yung kabayo or euthanized," she said.
The local government has released an executive order requiring the mandatory isolation of all sick horses in the city.
Although EIA is not transmissible to humans, it is still a notifiable disease listed in the World Health Organization and must be reported to public health authorities due to health risks.
Two hundred and fifty horses in Wright Park mainly used for tourism and considered one of the main attractions in the city are being monitored.