Foals in Iceland Still Ill from Horse Flu Skip to content

Foals in Iceland Still Ill from Horse Flu

Foals have proven to be especially sensitive towards the horse flu infection, spread by coughing horses last summer and fall.


An Icelandic foal. Photo by Símon Hrafn Vilbergsson.

According to the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority (MAST), the foals seem to have a natural defense against the disease for the first two months, which can probably be traced back to antidotes they receive with the beestings, but after that they are defenseless, Fréttabladid reports.

“In most cases the foals recover from the infection on their own accord but it can take a long time for them to become completely symptom free. Many have been helped with penicillin doses, which should always be prescribed if the foals have fever or other serious symptoms,” it says on MAST’s website.

Seventeen foals have been autopsied at Keldur, the University of Iceland Institute for Experimental Pathology, due to suspicion of horse flu infection.

In five cases their death could be traced back to streptococcal infection in the lungs and three other deaths have possible links to the horse flu. The other nine foals died from other causes.

Click here to read more about the horse flu.

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