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Surra (Trypanosoma evansi): how to spot and report disease

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

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Surra (Trypanosoma evansi) is a parasitic disease that can affect camels, cattle, buffalos, donkeys, llamas, mules, pigs, goats, sheep, dogs and cats. It is found in North Africa, Asia and Central and South America.

Latest situation: there has never been an outbreak in the UK.

Clinical signs

The clinical signs can vary according to the strain and infected species.

These include:

  • anaemia
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • abortion
  • leg swelling
  • chronic wasting in cattle
  • nervous signs - common in horses and can resemble rabies in dogs

In camels and horses it is often fatal and progresses quickly. In buffalo, cattle, llama and dogs it can also be fatal. However, these species tend to develop milder clinical signs.

How to report

Surra (Trypanosoma evansi) is notifiable. 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 Surra (Trypanosoma evansi) is spread

Surra is spread between animals by biting flies acting as mechanical vectors. Carnivores can also become infected by eating infected meat.

Human health implications

It does not affect humans.

Disease control

If Surra (Trypanosoma evansi) is confirmed, the outbreak will be controlled in line with the

contingency framework plan for exotic notifiable diseases.

Find out more about prevention and control, read the guidance on:

Legislation

The main legislation relating to the control of the Surra (Trypanosoma evansi) is The Animal Health (Notification and Control Measures) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Order 2021 and Animal Health Act 1981.

Biosecurity

You can help prevent the disease by practicing good biosecurity on your premises.

Contact

Surra (Trypanosoma evansi) is notifiable. 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.

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