Michigan Mare Tests Positive for Equine Anemia

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LEADER TELEGRAM -- MAY 22, 2012 -- Michigan officials say a 17-year-old mare in Mecosta County has tested positive for a virus that can be fatal for horses.

State Veterinarian Dr. Steven Halstead said Monday the mare is infected with equine infectious anemia, which is spread by deer and horse flies. It also affects other members of the horse family such as mules, donkeys, burros and ponies.

It can cause severe illnesses including fever, anemia and swelling, and it can be deadly.

Halstead said this is the first known case of the virus in Michigan since 2008.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is trying to determine whether other horses have been exposed.

Mecosta County is in the north-central Lower Peninsula, with Big Rapids as its county seat.