Ocala EHV-1: Last Quarantine Released

The last of the quarantines imposed on several Florida horse farms due to a recent equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) outbreak were released Wednesday (April 10). The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), which managed the outbreak stemming from an EHV-1 positive horse formerly stabled at Ocala’s Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) facility, reported the restriction changes in an April 11 statement.

"The investigation has ended as there are no additional suspected or confirmed cases and all exposed horses have met the requirements for quarantine release." noted the FDACS statement.

Officials placed the HITS facility under quarantine Feb. 27 after seven horses connected to the facility tested positive for EHV-1. Two of the horses developed neurologic signs and were treated at the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. The remaining five horses were quarantined at their home farms. Additionally, the FDACS quarantined several other facilities housing horses exposed to the disease while at the show grounds. The FDACS stated that all EHV-1 quarantines would remain in effect for a minimum of 21 days from the last exposure.

In early March officials began testing for disease and lifted quarantines if farms met release protocol, the statement said.

In the April 11 statement the FDACS noted that the organization is "advising horse owners and trainers to contact the venue of destination for any additional requirements prior to travel. Several equestrian events have instituted additional requirements for horses entering the show/competition. These may include shortened dating of certificates of veterinary Inspection or specific vaccination requirements.

“We are asking all those in the equine community to practice prudent biosecurity on their farm and to report any suspected cases of EHV-1," the statement noted.

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.

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com. Learn More