AHAA QLD Clinic with FEI Dressage Rider Alice Hurley
Japanese Encepahalitis Detected in Australia
Below is an information leaflet issued by the Racing Australia's Equine Genetic Research Centre:
As you should be aware from recent press, Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) has been detected in
piggeries in New South Wales (13), Queensland (1), Victoria (6), and South Australia (1).
Japanese Encephalitis is a mosquito-borne viral disease with a natural transmission cycle in
The virus can occur in pigs and horses when bitten by infected mosquitoes.
Direct horse-to horse or horse-to-human transmission does not occur.
Racing Australia and the Principal Racing Authorities are working with Federal, State and Territory
Government Departments with further updates to follow as additional information becomes available.
While Racing Australia’s focus is the Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding industry, Japanese
Encephalitis presents a risk to all breeds of horse. As you are a customer of Racing Australia’s
Equine Genetic Research Centre (EGRC), this update has been sent to support information you may
already be sourcing in relation to your horse breed population.
In horses, the disease is usually mild with symptoms including fever, lethargy and decreased
appetite. Jaundice and neurological (nervous) signs, such as incoordination or difficulty swallowing,
may develop in some cases.
Occasionally, severe neurological signs such as hyperexcitation, muscle tremors, profuse sweating
and blindness may occur.
Steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure of horses to mosquitos include:
using physical barriers such as light rugs and hoods during peak periods of mosquito activity
(between dusk and dawn).
reducing mosquito breeding sites on the premises by removing standing water.
using fans and automatic overhead misting systems to reduce mosquito numbers in stables.
using mosquito repellents; and
if possible, housing horses in mosquito-screened stables.
Links to further information on Japanese Encephalitis Virus Animals (JEV)
Links to further information on Japanese Encephalitis Virus Humans (JEV)
Japanese encephalitis | Australian Government Department of Health
To report suspected JEV in pigs or other animals, contact your local veterinarian or call the national
Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800 675 888