Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a viral disease of horses and other equines spread by blood-sucking insects such as horse flies, deer flies and stable flies. Most infected horses show no symptoms but they remain infectious, endangering the health of other horses. As of December 6, 2021, there have been 87 horses test positive for EIA in Alberta on 15 premises in 2021. This is a significant increase in positive cases in Alberta; in 2020 there were two cases and in 2019 there were 10.
The best means of preventing transmission of this virus is to ensure that horses who inhabit a facility are EIA negative. The most common test for EIA, a Coggins test, along with rapid testing (ELISA tests) provides a high level of sensitivity to EIA. Yearly testing of a mobile herd and good management practices can help to eliminate infected carriers.
EIA is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Regulations. This means that all suspected cases must be reported to the CFIA. For up-to-date information on EIA and other equine-related diseases, visit Canadian Animal Health Surveillance System (CAHSS).