Updated: Horse Tests Positive For EHV-1 After Leaving HITS Coachella

Feb 16, 2017 - 4:55 PM

Two horses in San Diego County have been placed under quarantine at their home farm after one of them was confirmed positive for equine herpesvirus -1 by the California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory.

The horse, a 10-year-old warmblood gelding, had been stabled in Tent 21 at the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit in Thermal, Calif., from Jan. 21-Feb. 5. He presented with neurologic signs of urine dribbling and hind limb ataxia on Feb. 7. These symptoms plus the laboratory test meet the definition for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy.

According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture website, the organization has been “in contact with HITS show management and veterinarians to ensure enhanced biosecurity measures are taken on the premises; including cleaning and disinfecting the stabling area.”

“There was a horse at Coachella that left after week 3 that was tested at home and confirmed positive EHV,” HITS said in a statement. “HITS and show veterinarians have been diligent in monitoring all horses on the grounds and have been in communication with officials of the State of California. There are no suspect horses on the grounds and the state officials completed an inspection. The tent that housed the horse that ultimately became sick has been disinfected but in order to practice an extra level of caution, HITS has elected to not use the entire tent for the rest of the circuit. HITS anticipates full participation when the show recommences next week.”

To enter the showgrounds, HITS requires horse owners to produce a signed statement from a veterinarian proving the horse has been vaccinated for EHV-1 and EHV-4 within 180 days of the show.

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