POST Online Media Lite Edition


Malaysia reported an outbreak of African Horse Sickness (AHS) for the first time

Christian Fernsby |
Malaysia reported an outbreak of African Horse Sickness (AHS) on 02 September, in five backyard horses in Terengganu, in the east of the Malay Peninsula, four of which were reported as showing clinical signs in early August (lameness, difficultyrnbreathing and fever).

Article continues below

Topics: MALAYSIA   

This is the first time that AHS has been confirmed in Malaysia, a country which has OIE official free status for AHS and is on the approved list for exports of equines to the EU.

Blood samples were taken from the four clinically affected horses and sent to the Veterinary Research Institute (VRI) in Ipoh for diagnostic confirmation.

Tests by RT-PCR of four horses were positive for African horse sickness virus (AHSV) RNA. A second round of sampling was conducted on 31 August 2020 with blood, nasal swabs and eye discharge samples taken, which tested positive for all five horses for AHSV, although the serotype has not yet been confirmed.

The source of virus is not currently known. Epidemiological investigation is ongoing and samples have been taken for serotyping.

There are at least nine different serotypes of AHSV, each having different geographical distribution. Identification of the serotype may therefore give some indication as to the region from where the virus originated.

This outbreak follows the first report of AHS in Thailand, where 15 outbreaks of AHS-1 have been reported since March 2020, involving 604 horses of which 562 died. This represented the first incursion of AHS in SE Asia. It is, therefore, likely that the subtype in Malaysia will be the same as that circulating in Thailand.

The distance between the nearest outbreaks in Thailand to this one in Malaysia is approximately 880 km but it is not clear whether this new “jump” has occurred as a result of a new incursion, movement of infected animals or movement of infected vectors.

Thailand has been applying vaccination to horses across 27 provinces and according to the latest OIE report, over 9,500 equidae have been vaccinated. The vaccination has so far focussed around the outbreaks in the Central, East and Western regions and not in the southern region (OIE, 2020).

AHS is a vector-borne viral disease, affecting all species of equidae. It has never occurred in the UK and the UK has OIE official free status. AHSV is transmitted by certain species of midges, most commonly Culicoides imicola (which is usually restricted to the southern parts of Europe, but otherwise found throughout Africa and Asia).

Other possible vectors include C. brevitaris, C. sonorensis and C. obsoletus (present in the UK) (Mellor and Hamblin, 2004).

AHS is endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, but historically, outbreaks of AHS have been reported outside this region, on the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, the Middle East, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

The disease, however, has not persisted in these areas. The severity of clinical signs depends upon the virus strain and host species. The fatality rate in horses can reach 90% in epidemics, but is less in mules and donkeys. Zebra usually do not show clinical signs, but act as reservoir hosts of infection.

Virus circulation is usually seasonal and associated with hot and humid weather and abundance of the arthropod vectors. Commercial vaccines against AHSV are available, but are not approved for use in the EU.

Malaysia (the Peninsula region only) is approved to export registered horses (which include FEI sport horses and studbook horses) to Europe as a Group G country (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/659) for permanent export, temporary admission and re-entry of such horses following temporary admission for competitions is permitted.

The export certificate requires that entry is only allowed from areas that are free of AHS and the Annex will be changed to reflect the new status of Malaysia. Based on a search of the EU Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES), there have so far been no equines imported to the UK from Malaysia during 2020, to date.


The import requirements for equidae into the EU do not allow the direct movement from countries where AHS is endemic. Therefore, the risk through legal trade from these areas is considered to be negligible.

When AHS incursions occur in a new region outside the endemic areas, the case fatality is usually high in naïve equine populations. In such circumstances the detection and reporting of new cases would be swift and any recent equine imports are required to be notified to the EU immediately.

The likelihood of importing a horse incubating AHSV from an area which has recently reported disease and which is approved for export into the UK is therefore considered to be very low. The unknown geographical distribution of AHSV in south-east and eastern Asia at this point in time is however a potential source of uncertainty.

Also, the ongoing epizootic of African swine fever, together with CODID-19 in the area, may impact on the effectiveness of the veterinary service to detect and report on livestock diseases.

What to read next

Potomac Horse Fever detected in Maryland
First West Nile Virus positive horse diagnosed in Oregon this year
Equine Herpesvirus confirmed in Ada county in Idaho

U.S.: More than 40 million under threat for severe storms, tornadoes could happen

Severe storms could deliver tornadoes, damaging winds and hail from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest from Tuesday afternoon into early Wednesday.


New York: Historic arts funding to record number of artists and organizations
Macron: U.S. gas 3-4 times more expensive for us, those are double standards
Thank you, inflation: Record Cyber Monday spending
HSBC to sell Canadian unit to Royal Bank of Canada for $10.1 billion


Poland: Criminal group extorted money making advantage of COVID situation

UK: Christmas chaos ahead as Wiltshire parking wardens announce further strikes
Italy: 8 dead, several still missing after deadly Ischia mudslide
South Korea issues return-to-work order to truckers on strike
U.S.: Winter weather conditions for west, severe weather potential for south on Tuesday
World's largest volcano Mauna Loa erupts


One in four U.S. workers still fear catching COVID at work, modest winter surge expected

No vessels left Ukrainian ports on November 28 due to adverse weather
Swedish nuclear reactor to be taken off-grid for repairs
UN and ILO must urgently intervene as South Korea weighs forcing striking drivers back to work, says ITF
More internationally educated family doctors on the way to British Columbia
Department of Health in South Africa to conduct feasibility study on implementing solar panels in hospitals

Trending Now

U.S.: More than 40 million under threat for severe storms, tornadoes could happen

Saudi Arabia unveils masterplan for mega Riyadh airport project

New York: Historic arts funding to record number of artists and organizations

One in four U.S. workers still fear catching COVID at work, modest winter surge expected


Tánaiste announces major change for small Irish companies

Commission approves €557 million German support to compensate Deutsche Bahn
Belgian government offers one-off tax-free bonus
Health minister discusses cooperation with French companies for manufacturing in Libya
Saudi Arabia unveils masterplan for mega Riyadh airport project
EU Parliament insists that EU must freeze funding to Hungary

Today We Recommend

One in four U.S. workers still fear catching COVID at work, modest winter surge expected


HSBC to sell Canadian unit to Royal Bank of Canada for $10.1 billion

Apollo Endosurgery to be acquired by Boston Scientific, enterprise value $615 million

AstraZeneca to acquire Neogene Therapeutics for up to $320 mln


Apollo Endosurgery to be acquired by Boston Scientific, enterprise value $615 million

Sibanye-Stillwater begins construction of lithium hydroxide refinery in Finland
Bechtel to build Intel's semiconductor manufacturing facilities in Ohio
Biocytogen Pharmaceuticals enters antibody agreement with ADC Therapeutics
BT announces plan for pay rise of up to 16% for all but highest paid
AstraZeneca to acquire Neogene Therapeutics for up to $320 mln


Former UK CMA CEO Andrea Coscelli to join Keystone

US Foods appoints Dave Flitman as CEO
G Mining Ventures appoints Carlos Vilhena to board
Criterium Energy appoints David Dunlop as director
Arthex Biotech appoints Frédéric Legros as chairman
Promontory Therapeutics appoints Stanley J. Musial as CFO


Switzerland's GDP grew by 0.2% in Q3 of 2022

Mexico's exports grow 19.5 pct
Trade between Bulgaria, North Macedonia to exceed EUR 1 Bln in 2022
EU trade with Indo-Pacific region
EU green energy product imports in 2021: 15.2 billion euros
Czech Republic: Economic sentiment ticks up in November


Natuzzi Q3 revenue increased 14.5%

CMA CGM Q3 revenue $19.9 billion
G. Willi-Food Q3 sales increased by 16.6%
Deere Q4 net income $2.246 billion
Nordstrom Q3 net loss $20 million
VMware Q3 revenue $3.21 billion


Micromanaging is the worst enemy of efficiency and teamwork

Niger set to monetize massive gas reserves through Saharan natural gas pipeline
Putting the brakes on EV folly that choked the market
Oil discovery in Kavango Basin may mean huge benefits for Namibians
Cape Town and Dubai battle over Africa's energy future
Is America going to lose its superpower status?


Colombian minister announces short and medium-term measures to help rural producers affected by winter weather

Third stage of vaccination against classical swine fever starts in Brazilian state Alagoas
Australia's fish stocks stable and steady
Australia pledges AUD 2 million to WTO Fisheries Funding Mechanism
Pesticide sales jump by 17% in Switzerland
Tesco announces close to £14 million of additional support for British egg industry


Corporate duty waivers limit organic company growth and innovation

Women buy from women, men buy from women and men
How employee opinion impacts CEO dismissal
Keeping it in family can be good news when it comes to CEOs
Over a third of office workers are hybrid 'misfits'
Proxy advisers have inherent incentive to create controversy, study shows


Meta Ireland fined 265 mln euros for data breach

Ukraine fines Engie, Shell subsidiaries over Nord Stream 2
New Zealand fines Southland fishing company $40,000
Italy's antitrust fines Edison Energia 3.8 mln euros over unfair practices
FTC secures monetary judgment in deceptive energy savings claims case
Croatian Competition Agency fines dairy processing company PIK Rijeka $13,740 for imposing unfair trading practices



Weather-resistant ArtWalk Downtown Billings, Montana

Dual branded Courtyard and Residence Inn by Marriott Hotel opens in Montreal
Candlewood Suites Hotel opens in Aberdeen, Md.
Mount Roraima, Venezuela, 7,671 feet above the forest floor
Llao Llao Resort, an exclusive resort in the middle of nowhere
Abu Dhabi welcomes visitors to discover experiences at their own pace


New colorful Porsche 718 Style Edition models

2023 Toyota Prius Prime, solar panel roof and reliability
Volvo EX90, a car with updates
Cessna Citation CJ4 Gen2 jet, pursue your business goals while enjoying journey
GMC first Sierra EV marks turning point
BMW M2, fast beast in small package


Patchwork carpets, vintage Persian carpets made with unparalleled skill

Real life wallpapers, perfectly executed
A. Lange & Söhne, men's watches with true Saxonian DNA
Nella Vetrina, luxurious Italian designers bathroom vanities and furniture
Karastan rugs, durable and beautiful
Leather bags for every occasion and every life style


Take Elektor Fortissimo and make your own high-end amplifier

RangeXTD, a Wi-Fi extender that actually works
Monitor II A.N.C. headphones, iconic Marshall sound
Zebra TC15, a clever mix of a mobile phone and a computer for business use
Bathroom speakers will make your relaxing even better
NAD 399 amplifier, highly efficient and remarkably powerful


Strong recommendation for pyronaridine-artesunate in revised WHO Malaria Treatment Guidelines

Pakistan launches anti-polio vaccination drive to inoculate 13.5 mln children
Ibuprofen and similar NSAIDS can be associated with hastened progression of osteoarthritis symptoms
Virgin Islands community encouraged to prevent antimicrobial resistance
Shionogi seeks Japan approval for COVID-19 vaccine
French doctors warn of antibiotics shortage


Astrophysicists hunt for second-closest supermassive black hole

New European supercomputer inaugurated in Italy
European Space Agency presents new generation of astronauts
NASA selects Rocket Lab to launch TROPICS mission
World's heaviest flying bird heals itself with plants used in traditional medicine
James Webb Space Telescope reveals an exoplanet atmosphere as never seen before