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Research Unveils Ease of Disease Spread at Horse Shows

17 July 2015

US - Recent research by University of Guelph grad student Kelsey Spence looks at how infectious disease can spread quickly in a horse show environment.

Under the supervision of Dr Amy Greer, in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Population Department, Ms Spence created a study to explore how an infectious disease could potentially spread in Canada.

Her results are outlined in a recent Horse Canada article, along with tips on how to avoid the spread of infectious disease at shows.

Ms Spence conducted a survey at a two-day silver level dressage show in Ontario to determine how many contacts each horse might have. Most of the 55 horses she was able to gather information about were stabled overnight in one of three locations: the barn, the coverall, and the field.

By tracking the information about contacts both at the show and back at the farm, Ms Spence determined that a single horse infected with a contagious disease at the show would have the opportunity to spread the disease to 779 others.

There is also the potential to spread any infections over a significant distance: some of the horses Ms Spence tracked had travelled more than 370 km to attend the show.

Ms Spence is planning to expand her research during the summer of 2015. She will follow a group of horses throughout the show season (May to November) to assess the number of contacts each animal has and the biosecurity measures taken both at home and at competitions.

Further Reading

You can view the full article by Teresa Pitman by clicking here.

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