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Equine influenza back in Japan
For more than 30 years there were no recorded cases of equine influenza in Japan. Now the equine influenza outbreak in Japan has affected more horses. Japanese media, quoting local government officials, report 114 horses kept at Kanazawa Racetrack had been infected with the horse flu virus. The disease, while not fatal, is extremely contagious.

Officials made the discovery after learning that a handful of horses at the facility had been among the 29 infected in the original
outbreak in mid-August. A decision was made to examine the 529 horses at the track, and the additional cases were identified.

Japanese racing has been severely restricted in a bid to stop the spread of the disease, which has not affected the local industry for
35 years. An outbreak in 1971 halted racing for 9 weeks.

Cancellations last Friday [17 Aug 2007] alone are estimated to have cost the industry 1 billion yen, or USD 8.7 million.

The outbreak has cast a shadow over Japan`s defence of the Melbourne Cup. Last year`s [2006] winner, Delta Blues, and runner-up Pop Rock
are being held at an unaffected facility well away from the outbreak, but their travel to Australia will depend upon whether Japanese
authorities can contain the disease.

Meanwhile, Australian authorities say they are confident an upper respiratory illness affecting 3 horses being held in quarantine facilities is not equine influenza.

All horses being held have been tested for the disease, and the results were negative.

Source: www.promedmail.org



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