Single EHV-1 Case Reported in Tennessee

Single EHV-1 Case Reported in Tennessee

The neurologic EHV-1 virus.

Photo: George P. Allen, PhD

One horse in Shelby County, Tenn., has tested positive for the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus-1, according to a March 6 statement from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture. Shelby County is located in the southwestern part of the state.

"The case involves one premises which has been quarantined," the statement read. "The affected horse has been isolated and is under the care and observation of a veterinarian. Strict biosecurity measures have been implemented to prevent any further exposure."

While an investigation into the source of the disease is under way, officials indicate "there appears to be no known connection to the current EHV-1 outbreak in Florida, and state animal health officials have no reason to believe that other horses have been exposed at this time."

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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