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FAQ - Equine Influenza

1. What is Equine Influenza?

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Equine Influenza is a type A influenza virus, the two subtypes that affect equines are: H7N7 and H3N8. This virus is mainly transmitted between equines but there are precedents of transmission between species (between dogs/birds and horses). No transmission between equines and humans is  identified at the moment.

Equine Influenza is one of the most contagious diseases in horses, it can spread throughout a stable in a few hours.

2. How is Equine Influenza transmitted?

Equine Influenza is mainly transmitted by direct contact, in particular by microdroplets expelled by a sick coughing horse.

The survival of the Equine Influenza virus is limited outdoors but indirect contamination is possible. The main modes of indirect contamination are:

  • By humans when they carry the virus on their clothes or hands

  • Contact with soiled material

3. What are the symptoms of Equine Influenza?

Symptoms :

  • Hyperthermia (fever 40°C)

  • Abatement

  • Runny nose (discharge) that can become purulent

  • Cough that may be hacking

  • Dyspnea (difficulty breathing)


The mortality rate is low, the horse can die in the event of bacterial superinfection.


  • Incubation period: 2 to 5 days

  • Clinical phase (when symptoms appear): 1 to 2 weeks


Total recovery will take at least 3 weeks, the time for the regeneration of the airways.

4. How to diagnose Equine Influenza?

The symptoms of Equine Influenza are generally stronger than other equine respiratory diseases which allows the veterinarian to have a strong suspicion as to the diagnosis.

In order to confirm his diagnosis, the veterinarian will carry out a PCR test on various samples: purulent discharge, nasopharyngeal swabs, etc.

5. What are the treatments for Equine Influenza?

There is no treatment for Equine Influenza, the treatment will be symptomatic, ie it helps to limit the outcome of the disease without treating the cause.

Anti-inflammatories will be used to improve the condition of the equine and reduce fever. Antibiotic treatment will also be used in case of bacterial superinfection.

6. What are the rules for preventing Equine Influenza?

Medical prevention  : the vaccination. There is an effective vaccine against Equine Influenza that not only alleviates severe symptoms but also reduces virus shedding. It is therefore strongly recommended to vaccinate horses from the age of 6 months. The vaccine is also compulsory in France for horses taking part in competitions and for breeding horses.


Health prevention  : several biosecurity rules can be put in place to limit the spread of Equine Influenza:

  • Isolate sick or suspect equines

  • Use single-use materials

  • Wash and disinfect hands or use disposable gloves

  • Limit all movement of horses and quarantine newcomers

  • Disinfect any equipment used around a sick horse

  • Disinfect all surfaces that may have been contaminated by a sick horse

Our Solution: NoViro

1. From Rhinopneumonia to Equine Influenza

As explained on the Rhinopneumonia page, our product was first developed with the aim of protecting horses from Rhinopneumonia. Following research, we found that the Covid-19 virus was smaller than that of Rhinopneumonia. Thus, a filter capable of filtering Covid-19 would be all the more so to filter Rhinopneumonia.

We then realized that our device is also effective against other respiratory diseases such as Equine Influenza. Indeed, the Equine Influenza virus is of an equivalent size to Covid-19.


Therefore, a filter capable of filtering Covid-19 will be just as capable of filtering Equine Influenza.

2. Our solution: an FFP2 type mask suitable for horses

One of the great tools used to limit the spread of Covid-19 is respiratory protection.  We have therefore decided to embark on an FFP2 type mask for horses.

The idea seems simple but we were faced with many challenges.

First of all, the design, it is not enough to make a giant FFP2 mask to be able to put it on a horse. We have developed a special frame to hold the filter in place. Inner frame keeps the filter away from the horse's nostrils, preventing the filter from touching the horse's nose  during inspiration. The outer frame protects the filter from external damage (shock, friction).  

The second challenge, and surely the most complicated, was to produce a large volume filter while maintaining reasonable prices. For information, a NoViro filter is equivalent to 7 human FFP2 masks!

Last challenge, and not least, we had to work on the composition of our filter so that they let through the 60 liters of air per minute that a horse inhales and exhales every minute. All this while maintaining a filtration rate of over 99%!

3. Our certifications

After numerous developments and prototypes, we sought to have our products certified by reference companies.

Filtration has been tested by the Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) according to standard EN14683 which is the European standard used for surgical masks for human use. SGS is the world leader in inspection and testing services. It is also one of the companies recognized by the French Government for the certification of masks for human use.



  • Filtration over 99%

  • Breathability conforms to EN14683 Type IIR



We commissioned the National Veterinary School of Lyon to confirm that there were no adverse effects or discomfort when wearing NoViro. The National Veterinary School of Lyon, in Marcy-l'Etoile, welcomes 1,500 horses each year. On average, one horse per day goes through the emergency room. Some horses come from Spain or Germany.  This “CHU (University Hospital Center) for horses” was the first establishment of this type in France, more than 4 years ago. In March 2021, during the epidemic peak of Rhinopneumonia which occurred in Valence, the French Equestrian Federation called on the National Veterinary School of Lyon to welcome and manage the quarantine of French horses during their repatriation to France.


Results :

  • Very good tolerance of the mask at rest

  • Very good tolerance of the mask during active walking exercise

  • No noticeable effect on arterial oxygenation level

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