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Virginia horse tests positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 in Florida

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Posted at 4:26 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 16:56:50-05

Martin County, Fla. – A Virginia horse that relocated to Martin County, Florida has Equine Herpesvirus-1, according to health officials.

On February 29, the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) was notified by the Florida State Veterinarian’s Office of clinical signs that were consistent with Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy.

The infected horse was placed in isolation early in the day and the Florida facility was placed under quarantine.

Investigators say that the horse was shipped from a training facility in Fauquier County, Virginia to Florida on February 22. The horse traveled from Virginia to Florida with additional horses that off loaded in South Carolina. The South Carolina State Veterinarian has taken similar precautions for the exposed horses.

The Virginia training facility has been placed under quarantine and all exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever and other clinical signs related to the disease.

No exposed horses in Virginia have shown clinical signs, but the horses will continue to be monitored throughout the quarantine period.

The investigation has revealed only one other exposed horse traveled out-of-state.

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) is not transmissible to humans. EHV-1 infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion in mares, neonatal foal death, and/or neurologic disease.

Horses usually become infected by inhaling infected droplets or ingesting material contaminated by nasal discharges or aborted fetuses.

Symptoms of EHV-1 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.