Horse Flu

There has been a scientific breakthrough in a horse flu vaccine which until now hasn't been updated in over 25 years!

What is equine influenza?

Equine influenza, also known as horse flu, is a highly infectious disease. Horse flu results in several symptoms, including high fevers and dry coughs. Horse flu can also lead to depression, lethargy and loss of appetite, as well as other physical symptoms.

In an unvaccinated horse population, the virus has a nearly 100% infection rate. Not only is horse flu bad for horses, but when animals are infected with flu viruses, they have the potential to infect humans too.

Are there any treatments?

Luckily, there are treatment options. The best way to protect your horse from the horse flu is to get the horse flu vaccine. Blood tests can confirm a definitive diagnosis and once you know your horse has the flu, you should stop working them immediately in order to let them rest. Rest is the best way to treat the flu.

The horse flu vaccine

As mentioned earlier, flu vaccines for horses haven’t been updated in more than 25 years. However, there have been recent breakthroughs and researchers from the University of Rochester Medical Centre have developed a new live horse flu vaccine that is safe and more protective than the existing vaccine.

The new vaccine is a spray “live-attenuated” vaccine that doesn’t cause flu and provides better immune responses and protection than previous vaccines. The vaccine aims to stop the flu when it enters the body and not let it infect the lungs. The vaccine is currently going through studies and will hopefully be available to use soon!

Scientific advancements like these are great not only for horse owners who want to make sure their horses are healthy through flu season but can also mean that the entire population is protected!