Virus outbreak raises concerns

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A recent outbreak of equine herpes has infected 132 racehorses in Hong Kong, host of equestrian events for the 2008 Olympics, the city’s jockey club said yesterday. Equestrian events were switched from host city Beijing because of difficulties in establishing a disease-free zone in mainland China, and Hong Kong’s leader tried to quash any concerns the outbreak may have triggered. «Horses [are] like human beings. They get sick; they get cured. I do not think we should be fussed… it will not be an issue by the time we hold the Olympics in Hong Kong,» said Chief Executive Donald Tsang. A total of 132 horses fell ill with the disease between February 10 and April 9 but containment measures appeared to be working and there was no obvious threat of the outbreak worsening.

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