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Published On: Mon, Feb 25th, 2013

Horse in Ocala show tests positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)

A horse that participated in an Ocala show last week has tested positive for  Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), wild type strain, according to a Florida Department of Agriculture outbreak notice Feb. 24.

Photo by Scott Bauer Agricultural Research Services

Photo by Scott Bauer Agricultural Research Services

The affected horse was participating in the  Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) horse show when it showing neurological signs last week.

The case was referred to  the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine, where it is in stable condition at UF.

Agricultural officials say there are no additional suspected or confirmed cases to date.

According to the release, the Division of Animal Industry is continuing the disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala, the local index farm and multiple premises that have horses that may have been exposed to the positive horse.

No new quarantines have been issued today and the seven quarantines issued since last Thursday remain in place. These quarantines include the index farm, Tent 7 at HITS and five additional premises in Florida; two farms in the Ocala area, one in Pinellas Park, one in St. Augustine and one in Wellington. At this point in the investigation there are no known exposed horses in other states.

Additional movement requirements or restrictions have not been imposed by Florida or any other states at this time.

Georgia agricultural officials also issued a outbreak warning because of the case.

They recommend that any Georgia horses attending this event that are not under quarantine should be isolated when returned home and observed closely for the next 21 days. If there is evidence of fever or illness, a veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible. Anyone that was in attendance at this event should insure that adequate bio-security is maintained so that this potentially deadly viral disease is not transported back to Georgia.

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.

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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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  1. Florida Equine Herpes Virus 1 grows to seven cases - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a follow up to a story earlier this week, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced seven positive cases of […]

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