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40 Equine Leptospirosis Cases In Kentucky
The University Of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center "confirmed 40 cases of equine leptospirosis in the Central Kentucky region from July 2006 until now & most of the observed cases have resulted in foal loss by pregnant mares," reported bloodhorse.com. During the same time last year, only 2 cases of equine leptospirosis were confirmed. Scientists at the LDDC believe the jump in cases "could be related to last year's increased rainfall". A working group (made up of LDDC & Gluck Equine Research Center scientists) "has begun a comprehensive Bluegrass-based epidemiological study & a nation-wide economic impact study of equine leptospirosis"; They hope the efforts "will raise awareness regarding this disease & also help foster the development of a much needed leptospirosis vaccine for horses". Equine leptospirosis is a bacterial disease found world-wide that affects many species, including horses and people; the source of the bacteria "is the urine of wild animals, including mice, squirrels, fox, skunks, opossums & deer" (& occasionally domestic species such as cattle, dogs & pigs).