African Horse Sickness Case in Robertson
There has still only been the one confirmed case of African Horse Sickness (AHS) in the Robertson area. Census and clinical surveillance is still underway by State officials and through the work of private veterinarians.
The State urges all members of the public in the area, as well as private veterinarians, to report any suspect cases of AHS in the Robertson area to Dr Llewellyn Hon, who is the local State Veterinarian based in Swellendam (028 514 1670).
For all local movement from the 10 km area surrounding the affected property, we ask that owners first contact Dr Llewellyn Hon to find out what the current requirements are. These may include a veterinary clinical check of horses leaving the property. We still urge members of the public not to unnecessarily move horses in and around the Robertson area until we have a more complete understanding of the situation there.
The case in Robertson does however prohibit the movement of horses into the AHS surveillance and free zone from Robertson and surrounds. Again, please contact Dr Hon prior to planning any such movements of horses.
The clinical signs seen on the affected property are more in line with what we would expect AHS to present like with a short clinical course of fever, later struggling for breath (dyspnoea) followed by death of the horse three days after initial signs were detected. While only one case has been seen on the farm it is still early on in the potential outbreak and spread is still very possible to other susceptible horses.
The source of infection has yet to be established. The serotype of the virus is the same as the Porterville outbreak but no links have been established yet between these locations. We currently consider this outbreak not to be related to the Porterville cases until more evidence is uncovered.