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Published On: Fri, Mar 21st, 2014

Equine Herpesvirus reported in horses in Minnesota

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health is reporting at least four cases of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection in horses from various counties, according to a news release Mar. 21.

Public domain image/Dusan Bicanski

Public domain image/Dusan Bicanski

The four horses, 2 from Chisago County, and one each from Dakota and Hennepin counties, have tested positive for the non-neuropathogenic strain of the virus.

Test results on two additional horses are pending.

According to Veterinary Virology, Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is a virus of the family Herpesviridae that causes abortion, respiratory disease and occasionally neonatal mortality in horses.

Initial spread of EHV-1 by a newly introduced horse through direct and indirect contact can lead to abortion and perinatal infection in up to 70 percent of a previously unexposed herd. Abortion usually occurs in the last four months of gestation, two to four weeks after infection of the mare. Perinatal (around the time of birth) infection can lead to pneumonia and death. Encephalitis can occur in affected animals, leading to ataxia, paralysis, and death.

See more about EHV-1 in the Merck Veterinary Manual.

The University of Minnesota College of Animal Health and Food Safety recommends that horses with a fever and symptoms of contagious respiratory infection should be kept at home and not taken to shows, clinics or public trail rides.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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