Santa Barbara Co., Calif., EHV-1 Quarantine Released

A gelding in Southern California that previously tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) has been released from quarantine, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) reported April 10.

"The Santa Barbara County positive Welsh cross gelding has been released from quarantine," the statement on the CDFA's website read.

The CDFA reported March 25 that the gelding had tested positive for the non-neuropathogenic strain of the virus and had been quarantined.

The gelding was the second horse to test positive for the non-neuropathogenic EHV-1 strain last month; on March 19, the CDFA reported that a Warmblood stallion had tested positive for the virus. That horse was released from quarantine April 4 following two negative EHV-1 tests.

An investigation revealed that both horses had attended the same Southern California horse show shortly before they were diagnosed with the virus.

"CDFA’s epidemiologic investigation indicates the Welsh cross gelding and the Warmblood stallion both participated in the HITS (Horse Shows in the Sun) event in Thermal, Calif.," a March 25 statement from the CDFA read. "The Welsh cross gelding departed Permanent Barn 2 on March 10, and the Warmblood stallion departed Tent 29 on March 15. … Potentially exposed horses to EHV-1 are recommended to be isolated and temperatures monitored twice daily for 14 days post potential exposure date."

Equine herpesvirus-1 is highly contagious among horses and camelids and is generally spread via aerosol transmission (when infected animals sneeze and cough) and through contact with nasal secretions from infected animals. The disease can cause a variety of problems in horses, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM).

Fever, ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, and incontinence are signs of EHM. If a horse that has possibly been exposed to EHV-1 begins to display any of the aforementioned signs, call your veterinarian immediately.

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, news editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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