The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has quarantined properties in Hunterdon and Somerset counties after a horse developed highly infectious equine herpes myeloencephalopathy. No recent movement had occurred at the farm where the virus was reported prior to this case.
The horse was moved into the isolation barn at a local animal hospital, B.W. Furlong & Associates Equine Veterinarians in Califon, N.J., the evening EHM was confirmed. Both the horses at the original farm and the hospital are under quarantine.
Nine horses were being treated at the hospital at the time of the incident; several horses were exposed to the ill horse. Seven of these horses will be moved to a remote facility, which also will be placed under quarantine so the hospital can be cleaned and disinfected in order to reopen.
Other than the initial case, none of the quarantined horses at either location are showing clinical signs at this time. Both locations are taking the necessary biosecurity precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Temperatures also are being taken twice daily on all quarantined horses.
On April 5, B.W. Furlong & Associates Equine Veterinarians in Califon, N.J., released a statement regarding the horse who tested positive for EHV-1 at its clinic.
“The patient is in our isolation unit, removed from our main facilities, and is under the care of Rachel Gardner, DVM, DACVIM, and her team of veterinarians and technicians,” stated the release. “The index horse has no history of recent travel therefore no other horses in the area are expected to be at increased risk at this time. The potentially exposed horses have been transported via closed commercial carrier to a separate quarantine facility and will continued to be cared for by B.W. Furlong & Associates veterinarians and technicians. The established quarantine area has been reviewed by the state veterinarians, and they have confirmed that it exceeds expectations put forth by the Department of Agriculture.
“All of our affected clients have been notified of the situation, and we will continue to maintain contact,” the statement continued. “We anticipate being able to resume normal business hours as of Saturday, April 8, without state restrictions on the main facility. It is our intention to exceed the state’s recommended biosecurity protocols, therefore we have increased biosecurity measures at all of our locations. The quarantine is not imposed on Equine MRI of NJ or Furlong’s Soundness Center and our ambulatory veterinary services are continuing without restriction.”