There have been recent confirmed diagnoses of equine influenza (EI) the UK, France and Germany in recent weeks. Two confirmed cases of Equine Influenza have been identified in Essex and Cheshire at the beginning of January. These cases were diagnosed by PCR on a nasopharyngeal swab sent to the Animal Health Trust.

Equine vets are encouraged to be on heightened look out just now for potential flu cases, even among vaccinated horses. If you are suspicious please do take advantage of the generous support of the HBLB to cover laboratory testing costs for equine influenza as part of the Animal Health Trust's equine influenza surveillance initiative - please go to http://www.equiflunet.org.uk/ for details. EI viruses and data arising from this field surveillance greatly informs on-going monitoring of the evolution of the virus and assessment of the appropriateness of vaccines to continue to protect horse populations.

In order to continue to protect groups of horses from EI routine and regular vaccination is recommended, especially in areas where recent diagnoses have been confirmed and among animals that may be travelling and mixing with other horses and then returning to home premises.