Saturday, December 23, 2006

Herpesvirus-Exposed Horses Located in 10 States

Herpesvirus-Exposed Horses Located in 10 States from “The Horse”

by: Erin Ryder, Staff Writer

December 19 2006 Article # 8463

The 14 horses imported and quarantined with the animal believed responsible for the outbreak of equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1) in Wellington, Fla., have been located, according to Jim Rogers, media coordinator for the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Rogers said the state veterinarians of Massachusetts, New Hamphsire, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Kentucky, North Carolina, and South Carolina have been notified that horses exposed to EHV-1 were shipped to their states. There have been three deaths in Florida and one in California, all of which can be traced back to contact with horses on this shipment.

According to Rogers, no clinical cases of EHV have been reported other than those in Florida and California. As EHV is not considered a reportable disease it is up to state veterinarians---not the USDA--to monitor and control any outbreaks.

The imported horses arrived at the USDA New York Animal Import Center (NYAIC) in Newburgh, N.Y., from Germany on Nov. 24 and left Nov. 27. Rogers said that one horse had a fever while in quarantine, but the horse improved and was not showing any clinical signs at the time it was released.

"The horses were released based on no clinical evidence of disease at the time of release," Rogers said. "They did not have fevers and all appeared healthy."

According to Rogers, no changes to the quarantine procedures at the NYAIC are expected in the wake of this outbreak. The facility remains open.

"Each shipment is quarantined by itself in one barn," Rogers explained. "There were 15 horses in this shipment, and these horses did not come into contact with any other horses. In NYAIC there are multiple barns, and only one shipment of horses goes into a barn at a time. Once the shipment is released, the barn is cleaned and disinfected before the next shipment is placed in that space."

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