horse

ELLENSBURG - The Equine Disease Communication Center is reporting one case of a highly-contagious bacterial infection in a horse in Kittitas County.

A case of Strep Equi or "strangles" was confirmed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture on Nov. 24. Further info released by the state indicates that the horse infected is on a farm somewhere in Kittitas County.

The horse's owner has voluntarily put the infected steed into quarantine. It's believed that about 10 other horses were exposed to the disease.

According to the Equine Disease Communication Center, strangles is spread from horse to horse through direct contact. Horses can also contract the disease by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. The disease is highly infectious.

Horses who have been infected but are clinically healthy can continue to incubate and shed the bacteria. A recovered horse may be a potential source of infection for at least 6 weeks after the clinical signs of strangles have resolved. Some horses that have recovered from the disease can become long term, periodic shedders and can cause outbreaks when introduced to new herds.

Horses infected with Strep equi are a source of infection to others and often continue to shed for up to 6 weeks post recovery .