New Zealand Reports First Neurologic EHV-1 Case

New Zealand Reports First Neurologic EHV-1 Case

Officials confirmed the country's first case of neurologic EHV-1 (seen here) on a single stud farm.

Photo: George P. Allen, PhD

The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has confirmed the country's first case of neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) on a single New Zealand stud farm.

"The neurological form of EHV-1, EHV-1 myeloencephalopathy, has been known to occur in North America, Europe, and Australia," a Jan. 31 MPI statement read. "This is the first time it has been confirmed in New Zealand. MPI is confident that all affected horses are contained and the situation is under control. No other properties have been affected."

No additional information was immediately available.

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.

Health Alert: Equine Herpesvirus (EHV)

Myeloencephalopathy is characterized by fever, ataxia (incoordination), weakness or paralysis of the hind limbs, and incontinence. Should a horse that potentially has been exposed to EHV-1 display any of the aforementioned clinical signs, call a veterinarian to obtain samples and test for the disease.

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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