Additional Calif. Horse Positive for Non-Neurologic EHV-1

Additional Calif. Horse Positive for Non-Neurologic EHV-1

"The CDFA recommends that horses stabled in Tents 22 and 34 during the last week of the Thermal show be closely observed and have their temperature monitored twice daily," the CDFA statement noted.

Photo: Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

One additional horse has tested positive for a non-neurologic strain of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), according to a March 23 statement from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Two California geldings—one in Monterey County and one in San Diego County—previously tested positive for non-neurologic EHV-1, according to the CDFA.

The horse in Monterey County displayed hind limb ataxia (incoordination) and was confirmed positive on March 14, the statement said. The San Diego County horse also displayed hind limb ataxia. He was confirmed EHV-1 positive on March 15, the organization noted. Both horses are under veterinary care; however, no further information on their immediate conditions was available.

According to Friday's statement from the CDFA, the most recently confirmed horse resides on the same premises as the previously diagnosed Monterey County horse, and recently began displaying "mild neurologic signs."

"All three confirmed horses participated in the HITS Thermal Horse Show March 5-11, 2012," the CDFA statement said. "The confirmed cases are quarantined and isolated, and enhanced biosecurity protocols have been implemented.

"The CDFA recommends that horses stabled in Tents 22 and 34 during the last week of the Thermal show be closely observed and have their temperature monitored twice daily," the CDFA statement noted.

Although it's not transmissible to humans, EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and camelids, and it is generally passed from horse to horse via aerosol transmission (when affected animals sneeze/cough) and contact with nasal secretions. The disease can cause a variety of ailments in equines, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy (EHM, the neurologic form).

"(The strain of virus confirmed in California) is responsible for the more common respiratory EHV-1 cases," the CDFA said in a previous statement. "A small percentage of non-neuropathogenic EHV-1 infected horses can display neurologic signs and are classified as equine herpes myeloencephalopathy cases, which is a reportable condition in California."

TheHorse.com will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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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