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Discussion on Strep C and humans

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Lisa Brand
Username: Trouble

Post Number: 59
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Jun 2, 2003 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello, DrO

A good friend who boards her horses at a local stable just informed me today that the barn has been quaranteened.

Apparently, about 5 weeks ago some horses started getting sick. Most were presenting with symtoms of strangles (high fevers, snotty noses, coughs) although no apparent difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Vets didn't think strangles but according to my friend, horses were treated with penicillin, bute, and banamine. Vets thought it may be some form of mutation.

Not all horses were sick. My friend has a 3 mo. old colt, its dam, and another older mare and none of them got sick. All horses at this point are recovering.

Okay, here's where it gets wierd. One of the boarders with a sick horse has an older father (76) who had been to the barn to help care for her horses. He became ill (I'm not sure of how long after) but was admitted to the hospital.

He was undergoing surgery for a heart aneurism when they discovered infection which was tested and found to be Strep C. Apparently, this is supposedly not possible for humans to get and the only known case was in Australia.

Additionally, a 15 yr. old girl who has 5 horses at this stable (and whom they suspect has the carrier horse) has recently become ill. She is now on life support with failing organs and has tested positive for Strep C.

My friend says the CDC is coming out as well as Purdue University. We are located in east Central Indiana.

What do you make of this?

By the way, my friend administered a lot of the penicillin to most of these sick horses. She said she took precautions since they thought it was strangles. She, however, has not become ill.

Also, the sick horses had been vaccinated for strangles previously. The reason they suspect the carrier horse is because that horse had been to a trainers facility (not sure when) and there was an outbreak there after its arrival.

I will try to keep you informed if I hear anything else.

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Melissa Webster
Username: Mwebster

Post Number: 321
Registered: 5-2001
Posted on Monday, Jun 2, 2003 - 6:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow, how scary.

Here's a link to a Harvard paper on Strep C infections in people:

Also see last page of
(S. equi ssp. zooepidemicus)

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 8511
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jun 2, 2003 - 10:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Strep is one of the most common infections seen in people and though infection by group C in not common it is far from unknown. Let's see what happens with the investigation, until then second hand speculation does more harm than good.
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Lisa Brand
Username: Trouble

Post Number: 60
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 3, 2003 - 11:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the info, Melissa. I will check this out as the info I received is second hand.

I will post an update as soon as I hear any news.

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