The UK is reported to have formally confirmed the return of "swamp fever". Following the confirmed diagnosis of two more cases of the fatal swamp fever, horse owners in the UK are being warned to practice extra vigilance.
The first two cases of equine infectious anaemia (EIA) in horses were diagnosed in January in Britain for the first time in 34 years. After that, a horse in Northumberland and one in Devon have been reportedly carrying the infection.
All of the animals diagnosed with the infection are claimed to be imported from Romania.
It is cited that the outbreak might emerge as an equine equivalent of the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic, which engulfed the lives of over 10 million sheep and cattle.
"Since the first outbreak this year we have worked hard with the EU to proactively reduce the risk to the UK, and exports of horses from Romania are now severely restricted, along with more UK import testing. We believe the cases in the UK this summer relate to horses that left Romania before these measures were in place", explained Nigel Gibbens, the Chief Veterinary Officer at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
As the name suggests, the fever usually occurs in marshy areas. Officials have urged horse owners and vets to immediately inform their local Animal Health office in case they suspect an infection.