EHV-1 Confirmed at Manitoba, Canada, Racetrack

EHV-1 Confirmed at Manitoba, Canada, Racetrack

Horses at Assiniboia Downs must have their temperatures taken twice daily as part of the quarantine protocol.

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

A horse residing at Assiniboia Downs, in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, has been confirmed positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), according to a statement from the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA).

The MVMA statement indicates the horse developed clinical signs of disease and was quarantined on April 21; veterinarians confirmed the diagnosis on April 23, and the racetrack has implemented voluntary quarantines. The affected horse was later euthanized due to the severity of his clinical signs.

"At this time, only one horse has shown symptoms of the virus and no other horses have been affected," the MVMA statement said.

According to documents dated April 25 and posted on the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission's (MHRC) website, the track implemented two types of quarantines: primary and secondary.

In the primary quarantine area (defined as the south and middle sections of Barn E) all staff and personnel must walk through a foot bath; wear separate coveralls, boots, and gloves when inside the barn and remove them prior to exiting; and wash their hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer before exiting the barn.

Horses in the primary quarantine area:
  • Are prohibited from engaging in nose to nose contact;
  • Must be vaccinated or boostered for EHV-1;
  • Must have their temperatures taken and recorded twice daily; and
  • Must undergo nasal swab EHV-1 testing if they develops a fever greater than 101°F or 38.5°C, among other precautions.

Health Alert: Equine Herpesvirus

Additionally, the MHRC said all bedding and manure from the primary quarantine area must be dumped in a designated area, and all wheelbarrows in the quarantine area must remain there until the restrictions are lifted and they're disinfected. Further, all tack and equipment in the primary quarantine area must be disinfected.

In the secondary quarantine area (the rest of the racetrack barns), all personnel must practice "standard good hygiene" and clean hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after handling horses.

Horses in the secondary quarantine area must:

  • Have their temperatures taken and recorded twice daily; and
  • Undergo nasal swab EHV-1 testing if they develops a fever greater than 101°F or 38.5°C, among other precautions.

"The quarantine will be approximately 14 days from April 23, 2014, and may be extended to 21 days with notice depending on the situation," the MHRC document read. "Horses in the primary quarantine area will be required to submit to EHV-1 nasal swab testing."

No horses will be permitted to leave the racetrack grounds during the quarantine, and incoming horses must have valid health certificates and "proof of veterinarian-administered vaccination for equine herpesvirus at least two weeks prior to entry."

TheHorse.com will continue to proved 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 three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado, and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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