EHV-1 Quarantine Lifted on Lake County, Ind., Horses

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) has lifted the quarantine on a Lake County, Ind., horse boarding facility put into place last month after a horse was confirmed positive with equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). Forty-five horses stabled at the facility have been determined to be free of the disease after being closely monitored for 30 days under the direction of a BOAH veterinarian.

The affected horse was humanely euthanized in May after showing neurologic signs before he was confirmed for the virus.

The BOAH advises horse owners to talk with a veterinarian about including the EHV vaccine in an annual vaccination regimen. When traveling to exhibitions and/or out-of-state, horse owners are advised to contact the state of destination to determine if additional horse health requirements must be met due to an EHV-1 case identified in Indiana.

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).

Myeloencephalopathy is characterized by fever, ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, and incontinence. Should a horse with potential EHV-1 exposure display any of the aforementioned clinical signs, a veterinarian should be called to obtain samples and test for the disease.

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