EHV-1 Case Brings Quarantine at Parx Racing

EHV-1 Case Brings Quarantine at Parx Racing

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

Two barns at Parx Racing, in Bensalem, Pa., are under quarantine as a result of a positive test for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1), officials said Nov. 13.

According to a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture statement, "Some horses at the track came into contact with the positive horse and have shown clinical signs of the disease, ranging from fever to neurological impairment. The horses remain under quarantine until test results are completed."

The EHV-1-positive horse is trained by Steve Klesaris, who stables in Barn 21. Several other trainers have horses in the barn; none are permitted to train.

Barn 34 is under quarantine because a horse from Barn 21 was recently claimed and moved there. Parx officials said testing on that horse is under way, but in the meantime no horses from that barn will be permitted to train. In addition, a pony barn was quarantined pending test results on a sick horse.

Parx is following customary quarantine procedure. Horses won't be permitted to leave the Pennsylvania racetrack unless it's an emergency, and any horses that ship to Parx won't be permitted to enter the grounds until the quarantine is lifted.

The general quarantine period for EHV-1 is a minimum of 21 days. Other tracks in the region have been notified of the situation, officials said.

Parx officials said horses that planned to ship in for racing Nov. 16-17 will be scratched with no penalty. Those programs were drawn earlier in the week.

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 on objects such as feed buckets, grooming supplies, humans, and other infected animals. 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).

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About the Author

Tom LaMarra

Tom LaMarra, a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, has been news editor at The Blood-Horse since 1998. After graduation he worked at newspapers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania as an editor and reporter with a focus on municipal government and politics. He also worked at Daily Racing Form and Thoroughbred Times before joining The Blood-Horse. LaMarra, who has lived in Lexington since 1994, has won various writing awards and was recognized with the Old Hilltop Award for outstanding coverage of the horse racing industry. He likes to spend some of his spare time handicapping races.

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