EHV Scare at Pennsylvania Racetrack

A barn at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, in Grantville, Pa., was placed under quarantine due to a suspected case of equine herpesvirus (EHV) Friday, but the restrictions were quickly lifted when the animal tested negative.

Chris McErlean, vice president of racing for track owner Penn National Gaming Inc., said tests were performed Jan. 17 on samples from the affected horse. The results were returned later that day and came back negative, he said.

McErlean said the briefly quarantined barn contains about 45 horses with multiple trainers. Horses were permitted to ship in and out of Penn National pending the results of the test.

Health Alert: Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)

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

Originally published on

About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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