Two EHV-1 Cases Confirmed In Virginia

Feb 16, 2015 - 7:20 AM
Veterinarians recommend good biosecurity practices, such as not letting horses touch noses at competitions, to minimize the spread contagious diseases. Photo by Mollie Bailey.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has confirmed two cases of equine herpes virus, EHV-1. The first horse started showing neurologic symptoms on Jan. 31 and was confirmed positive for EHV-1 on Feb. 5.

The 14-year-old gelding is located in western Albemarle County, near Charlottesville, and has been in quarantine since its diagnosis, along with the other 14 horses located at its boarding barn. No other horses related to that case have shown symptoms of EHV-1, and the affected horse is currently stable and improving.

On Feb. 12, a horse in Loudon County tested positive for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, a neurological disease caused by EHV-1. Though the horse did not display neurologic symptoms, it had a fever and was not eating or drinking. Its owner took the horse to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., where it remains quarantined in the isolation unit.

One other horse from the farm displayed a fever but so far shows no other symptoms and is also under quarantine at the EMC. Neither horse has been in the general hospital area at the EMC at any point according to VDACS state veterinarian Dr. Richard Wilkes.

The other 33 horses from that farm remain under quarantine on the property, and none have displayed symptoms of EHV-1. The quarantine will be lifted Feb. 26.

There is no connection between the horses diagnosed in Loudon and Albermarle counties, and no other cases have been reported. However VDACS is conducting an epidemiological investigation and will give updates on its website

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