Publication - Advice and guidance

Epizootic lymphangitis: how to spot and report the disease

Published: 25 Feb 2020

Advice on what to do if you suspect there is an outbreak of this infectious disease. 

Published:
25 Feb 2020
Epizootic lymphangitis: how to spot and report the disease

Epizootic lymphangitis affects horses and mules. It can affect cattle, but this is rare. It does not affect humans.

Latest situation: the last outbreak in Great Britain was in 1906.

Clinical signs

Symptoms include:

  • patches of damaged skin anywhere on the body
  • swollen and hard glands
  • a thick yellow scab over a patch of ulcers
  • discharge or ulcers in the nostrils

Pay special attention to damaged skin in and around wounds, especially if the wound has been healed for months.

The earlier you detect epizootic lymphangitis, the more likely the disease can be cured. Fatality increases the later the disease is found.

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence. 

How epizootic lymphangitis is spread

Epizootic lymphangitis is spread by flies and by contaminated riding equipment.

The disease can live in soil for up to 15 days.

Human health implications

There are no human health implications because the disease is not zoonotic.

How to control the disease

If epizootic haemorrhagic disease is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the contingency framework for exotic notifiable animal diseases.

Biosecurity

The Government's policy on disease control is that prevention is better than cure. This approach works by reducing the chances of a disease entering the animal population, and if it does then it can be quickly spotted and dealt with through the preventative measures.

Biosecurity is about being aware of the ways disease can spread, and taking every practical measure to minimise the risk of disease spreading.

Contact

If you suspect signs of any notifiable diseases, you must immediately notify your Scotland: field service local office at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA). Failure to do so is an offence.