Getah virus (GETV) a member of the genus Alphavirus in the family Togaviridae and has been frequently isolated from mosquitoes. The virus reach is Eurasia to southeast and far eastern Asia, the Pacific islands, and Australasia. The natural host animal of the virus was not known until the first recognized occurrence of Getah virus infection among racehorses in two training centers in Japan in 1978. Outbreaks of clinical disease due to Getah virus infection occur infrequently, and only one outbreak has been reported outside Japan; this was in India in 1990. An inactivated vaccine is available for the prevention and control of Getah virus infection in horses in Japan.
Clinical signs of the disease in horses are mild and nonlife-threatening and characterized by fever, edema of the hind limbs, swelling of the submandibular lymph nodes, and urticarial rash.
How Horses are Infected
GETV is transmitted to horses through bites from infected mosquitoes. There is some evidence to suggest that direct horse-to-horse transmission may occur during outbreaks via nasal discharges that contain considerable amounts of virus.
How Getah virus is Diagnosed in Horses
Getah virus can be diagnosed serologically, based on testing acute and convalescent phase sera by using SN, CF, HI, and ELISA tests.