NC State Lifts Self-Imposed Restrictions Connected to EHV-1

The admission and discharge restrictions put in place at the North Carolina (NC) State University Equine and Farm Animal Veterinary Center in connection with a case of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) have been lifted as of Jan. 12, according to a statement on the school's website.

"Horses in the Center when the mare entered the isolation unit are being discharged, and new outpatient and elective cases will be accepted," the statement continued. "Emergency cases admitted during the past week will continue to be hospitalized for a total of seven days. Strict biosecurity measures will continue while the mare remains in the separate isolation facility."

The admission and discharge restrictions were put into place on Jan. 4 after a mare was admitted and subsequently tested positive for the neurologic form of EHV-1, the statement noted.

"With the prior warning we were able to take the horse directly from the farm into our separate isolation unit so no horses currently in our hospital were exposed," Sam Jones, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVIM, NC State professor of equine medicine, said in a previous statement.

No updates on the affected horse's condition were provided in the statement.

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.

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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