Utah Neurologic EHV-1 Quarantine Lifted

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food released a premises in Cache County from quarantine Nov. 15 after no other signs of neurologic equine herpesvirus-I (EHV-1) were observed on the farm. The farm was placed under quarantine Oct. 17 after several horses tested positive for the disease.

Three horses were humanely euthanized at the quarantined premises due to the onset and progression of neurologic clinical signs. No further cases of the disease have been diagnosed in the Utah since the initiation of the quarantine.

Utah State Veterinarian Bruce King, DVM, advises horse owners to always be vigilant in following appropriate biosecurity measures whenever their horses travel or new horses are introduced on the premises.

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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