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Sports · March 2, 2016

Horse from Fauquier has Equine Herpes Virus

Stock photo
On its trip to Florida, the infected horse stopped in South Carolina, where officials also have taken precautions.
To date, no exposed horses in Virginia have shown clinical signs of disease or been febrile, but the monitoring will continue throughout the quarantine period.
— Virginia State Veterinarian’s Office
A horse shipped from Fauquier to Florida has Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), a potentially-debilitating disease, according to veterinary officials in both states.

Virginia’s state veterinarian’s office has placed the unnamed Thoroughbred training facility in Fauquier under quarantine, the agency said Wednesday in a press release.

The Florida veterinarian’s office notified Virginia officials Monday that a horse shipped Feb. 22 from Fauquier to Martin County tested positive with EHV-1. That horse remains in isolation.

Meanwhile, in Fauquier, “all exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.5 F) and other clinical signs,” the Virginia agency said in its press release. “To date, no exposed horses in Virginia have shown clinical signs of disease or been febrile, but the monitoring will continue throughout the quarantine period. In addition to the horses exposed at the training facility, the investigation has revealed only one other exposed horse that traveled out of state.”

The “index horse” and others got a break, out of their trailer, in South Carolina.

“The South Carolina State Veterinarian was notified and has taken similar precautions for those exposed horses,” the press release said.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provides this information about the disease:

Equine Herpes Virus infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion in mares, neonatal foal death, and/or neurologic disease.

The neurologic form of EHV-1 is called Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM).

Transmission likely occurs by inhaling infected droplets or ingesting material contaminated by nasal discharges or aborted fetuses. Clinical symptoms may include a fever, difficulty urinating, depression and stumbling or weakness in the hind limbs. Supportive therapy is often used to treat these cases.

In severe cases, horses will be unable to stand; these cases have a very poor prognosis. EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans.


State animal health officials in Virginia and Florida will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as warranted, the agency said.
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BJ · March 5, 2016 at 4:35 pm
Why wasn't the horse tested before tranporting out of the state of Virginia? Isn't it routine to test due to the nature of any disease before letting animals cross state lines? Somebody dropped the ball here!
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