Getting the facts straight about equine coronavirus

Getting the facts straight about equine coronavirus

If you’re not familiar with equine coronavirus, let’s look at what it is and — just as importantly — what it isn’t.

Some coronaviruses can cause serious respiratory disease in people. Others generally cause gastrointestinal disease in various animal species. Fortunately, humans cannot catch equine coronavirus and horses are not affected by COVID-19.

However, all coronaviruses are easily spread among susceptible individuals. Equine coronavirus spreads fastest in the fall and winter. Common signs include lethargy, fever and a decreased appetite. Affected horses may also be colicky and have loose stools, which is how the virus spreads.

Horses usually recover from coronavirus infections within a week but should be isolated for at least 3 weeks. During that time, handlers must take care not to cross contaminate surfaces and equipment.

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