Ocala EHV-1: Index Case Recovering, No New Cases Reported

Ocala EHV-1: Index Case Recovering, No New Cases Reported

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

A horse that tested positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) last week after being stabled at the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) facility in Ocala, Fla., is recovering with treatment, and HITS reported in a Feb. 25 statement that no new cases of the disease have been detected.

According to a Feb. 25 statement from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Large Animal Hospital, the index horse is "responding well to aggressive treatment and is stable at this time." The horse tested positive for neurologic EHV-1 on Thursday (Feb. 21) after developing neurologic signs the day before.

In a Feb. 24 statement, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) indicated that the organization is investigating the incident.

"The Division of Animal Industry is continuing the disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala, the local index farm, and multiple premises that have horses that may have been exposed to the positive horse," the FDACS statement read. "No new quarantines have been issued today and the seven quarantines issued since last Thursday remain in place. These quarantines include the index farm, Tent 7 at HITS (where the affected horse was stabled), and five additional premises in Florida: two farms in the Ocala area, one in Pinellas Park, one in St. Augustine, and one in Wellington. At this point in the investigation there are no known exposed horses in other states."

Although no states--including Florida--have imposed movement restrictions, Equestrian Sport Productions has announced that no horses from Ocala will be allowed at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC), in Wellington, Fla., until further notice, and the organization has increased biosecurity protocol, including requiring heath certificates dated within 48 hours of a horse's arrival at the PBIEC. Individuals travelling to PBIEC are encouraged to check www.equestriansport.com for biosecurity protocol updates.

According to a Feb. 23 statement from HITS, "the tent where the horse was stabled, Tent 7, is quarantined. Currently, the plan to lift the quarantine for some of the horses in Tent 7 may be as early as 10 days from now."

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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