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A mystery illness that has killed 11 horses has spread more than 10 mi

January 24, 1997

CROWNPOINT, N.M. (AP) _ A mystery illness that has killed 11 horses has spread more than 10 miles from the stable where the outbreak began, frustrating federal veterinarians sent to investigate.

Veterinarians have taken hundreds of samples for testing since the illness surfaced Jan. 9, but its cause remained undetected Thursday.

``We’re looking for bacteria, viruses. We’re running a toxicology screen on feed samples,″ said Dr. Dennis Saari, a pathologist from Long Island, N.Y., who is a member of the federal team called to northwest New Mexico this week.

The Navajo-owned boarding stable where the outbreak began has been quarantined. Officials had hoped to contain the illness there, but KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reported Thursday night that another horse had fallen ill more than 10 miles away.

The horses have shown symptoms similar to those of colic, but officials have said colic treatments are ineffective.

U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman Stuart McDonald said veterinarians have ruled out African horse sickness and Potomac horse fever as causes.

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