“This disease has just occurred in Thailand. We’ve never had it in the past”
The director-general of the Department of Livestock Development, Sorawit Thanito, says more than 100 horses in Thailand have died from African Horse Sickness (AHS). It’s the country’s first instance of the illness, which only affects animals. Latest government data show at least 131 horses have died across 4 provinces
Sorawit says the government has quarantined sick horses to limit the spread of the disease, adding that the government was notified in late March of AHS in the country.
“We have to investigate how this virus got to Thailand.”
“Horses that contract the illness can have fevers of over 39C, difficulty breathing and bleeding in the eyes.”
There has never been a case of AHS reported in humans and it is not related to the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus, according to Sorawit.
The World Organisation for Animal Health suspended Thailand’s status as an “AHS Free Country” on March 27. Myanmar and Kyrgyzstan had their AHS-free statuses suspended in 2018. AHS is endemic in the central tropical regions of Africa, from where it spreads regularly to Southern Africa and occasionally to North Africa, according to the OIE.