(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) With the racing season already underway in Oman, two veterinary labs have released the results of tests that show that horses in the sultanate are free of the MERS virus
The veterinary laboratory in Al Felaij Barka, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, and Central Veterinary Research Lab in Dubai have confirmed that any apprehensions expressed in this regard, following the emergence of an unidentified infection, were baseless.
Dr K P Nisar, a veterinary surgeon of Oman Equestrian Federation (OEF), told Muscat Daily, ''These symptoms were of systemic infection of the body, similar to those of a bacterial origin. We lost two horses to this infection last month. The observations were quite close [to MERS] and that was troubling us. I did notice similar symptoms in the ailing horses and it was a matter of concern. However the reports confirmed that these were just apprehensions and they helped to clear the doubts.''
Apart from the tests conducted in the lab, samples were also sent to Dubai for testing. ''The symptoms, which were similar to MERS, were fever, horses staying off feed, and respiratory distress,'' Dr Nisar added. ''The tests were necessary because the deaths were causing panic.''
Operating under the Ministry of Sports Affairs, OEF runs a horse clinic in Barka, which was established in 2010. The clinic provides treatment and care, and also plays a role in issuing travel documents for horses.
The clinic is also responsible for providing veterinary services during various equestrian sports events organised by OEF such as show jumping, endurance races, dressage shows, traditional races and tent pegging