EHV-1 Confirmed at Illinois Boarding Stable

EHV-1 Confirmed at Illinois Boarding Stable

Photo: Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Illinois State Veterinarian Mark J. Ernst, DVM, confirmed March 6 that equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) has been diagnosed at a boarding facility in the northeastern part of the state.

"The (Illinois Department of Agriculture) Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare has received laboratory confirmation of EHV-1 infection in a private boarding stable in Lake County in Illinois," Ernst said in an email. "Several horses in the stable are currently exhibiting neurologic signs consistent with those exhibited in EHV-1 infected horses.

"The horses stabled in the facility have been placed under quarantine by the Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare," he relayed. "This quarantine will remain in place until such time as it is determined that exposure to these horses no longer poses a risk to other horses."

Ernst said that at the present time, "no link has been established between these affected horses and any organized equine event."

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. 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 (EHM, the neurologic form).

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. will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.

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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