The Cornell University College Of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, N.Y., is under voluntary quarantine after confirming a case of Equine Herpes Virus-type 1. The infected foal died at the equine hospital at 2 a.m. March 20, tissue samples came back positive March 25 and cultures came back positive for EHV-1 March 29.
“We’ve been doing PCR [polymerase chain reaction] testing on all the other horses [at the veterinary hospital], and everything has come back negative,” said Stephanie Specchio, director of communications at Cornell University College Of Veterinary Medicine. “We just completed the fourth set of tests yesterday, and we’ve been taking temperatures twice a day as well. So far everything is looking normal.”
The quarantine began March 20, and Specchio doesn’t know how long it will continue. She said one case is not considered an outbreak.
“The decision needs to be made by director-level people,” she said. “I think they’re talking about it, and we might have an exact duration later today. It’s whenever they feel like it’s safe again. They believe the risk of exposure is low, but they need to be very careful.”
Owners and veterinarians can find out more information and quarantine guidelines on the Cornell Equine Hospital website.
“Horses that were discharged from the Cornell Equine Hospital prior to March 18 were not exposed to known cases in our hospital,” stated the Cornell website. “We are presently contacting horse owners whose horses could possibly have been exposed to known equine herpes virus. We have contacted all referring veterinarians who referred horses to our facility during this time period.”
The EHV-1 virus is highly contagious and can cause abortion, respiratory disease, neonatal death and neurologic disease in horses.