GILBERT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A Valley veterinarian says a horse in Queen Creek has tested positive for equine coronavirus.
"This is actually the first case I have seen in 17 years of practice,” said Dr. James Christensen, a vet with East Valley Equine Practitioners in Gilbert.
Equine coronavirus is different than the deadly strain that originated in Wuhan, China. This virus isn’t known to spread to humans and affects the intestinal tract of the horse. It’s spread through manure and causes the horse to develop a fever and become lethargic.
"Currently do not know of any other cases in Arizona,” Dr. Christensen said. “So this is primarily just an isolated case.”
Once a manure sample came back as positive for equine coronavirus, Dr. Christensen says he reported it to the state. The Arizona Department of Agriculture acknowledged they received Dr. Christensen's report, though reporting equine coronavirus is not mandatory.
AZDA released a statement that includes best practices on avoiding the virus.
Dr. Christensen says there is no known vaccine for equine coronavirus but adds horse owners shouldn't be panicking. He says equine coronavirus is rarely fatal and recommends that horse owners call a vet at the first sign of sickness.
Still, Dr. Christensen recommends that anyone who suspects their horse has equine coronavirus should keep it away from horse shows or other events.
"If all horse owners can proceed in a manner that is respectable to the other horse community, this will keep a lot of viruses such as this, you know, contained," Dr. Christensen said.