Updated on June 9, 2015 from the VA Dept. of Agriculture and Human Services website – www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/ehv.shtml

Monday, June 8, 2015
The quarantine on the Prince William County equine riding school facility has accomplished its purpose and was released on June 6, 2015. No additional horses were found to be EHV-1 positive during the 21 day quarantine/observation period.

Friday, May 29, 2015
All horses at the Prince William County equine riding school facility are being monitored. They remain afebrile and healthy. Also, a subsequent lab report on the index horse that tested as an EHM suspect indicated that the index horse also tested serologically positive for Equine Protzoal Myeloencephalopathy (EPM).

Thursday, May 21, 2015
On May 21, the epidemiological investigation was completed on a farm in Prince William County where a single horse was euthanized due to neurologic disease, and whose post-mortem test results were reported as suspect-positive for the neurologic strain of Equine Herpesvirus-1. The index horse had not traveled off of the farm recently, and no other horses on the farm have shown any signs of disease. All horses on the farm will continue to be closely monitored for 21 days past the date the index horse was euthanized. Horses will not be permitted to move on or off the farm during this monitoring period.

Friday, March 6, 2015
The Albemarle County equine premises containing 13 horses was released from quarantine following the required 21-day observation period after the index horse was removed from this premises. No horses became febrile or neurologic during this time. The index horse and his stable mate remain in quarantine at a nearby premises and their quarantine release is pending on March 13, 2015.

The Loudoun County farm remains under quarantine with twice a day temperature observations. The index horse remains in quarantine at the Marion DuPont Equine Medical Center. With the exception of that horse, the remaining 34 horses at the farm are pending release on Thursday, March 12.

Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015

On Thursday, February 5, 2015, VDACS was notified of a positive result for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) on a horse displaying neurologic signs in western Albemarle County, Northwest of Charlottesville. The affected horse is located at a boarding stable with 14 other horses at the facility. VDACS contacted the stable manager and placed the facility under quarantine – no horses are allowed to exit or enter the premises until the quarantine is released.

The affected horse is a 14-year-old gelding that showed symptoms on Saturday, January 31, became recumbent on Sunday, February 1, but is now stable. Samples were taken by a private veterinarian and the result was reported to VDACS February 5, 2015.

An epidemiologic investigation is underway; initial findings indicate that only one exposed horse from the facility has left the premises within the last 14 days, and that horse went out of state.  VDACS will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates on our website – vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/ehv.shtml – and on Facebook and Twitter at facebook.com/VaAgriculture and twitter.com/VaAgriculture/.

More information on EHV-1 is available at vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/ehv.shtml or

————————

ABOUT EHV-1

Below is a portion of a post from 2014 regarding a similar case of EHM in Virginia in 2014. It includes symptoms to look for and bio-hazard precautions – the full story is here: http://horsetalkmagazine.com/equine-herpesvirus-myeloencephalopathy-ehm-confirmed-in-a-virginia-horse-today/

VDACS officials advise that strict biosecurity is the most effective way to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. Field veterinarians have started the epidemiological investigation that will be necessary to assess the risk that the disease may be present in other horses or farms. The potential for EHV-1 to cause Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy is influenced by a number of factors and case reports vary from involving a single horse to very large numbers of cases. VDACS will monitor the situation continuously and urges all horse owners in Virginia to minimize nonessential contact with other horses and to enhance their biosecurity practices on and off of the farm to prevent the spread of this and other infectious diseases. Horse owners should consult their veterinarians about specific ways to minimize the risk of EHV-1 infection on their farms.

The symptoms of EHM in horses may include a fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness and dribbling of urine. The disease is often fatal. The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can spread the virus to other horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated. EHV-1 poses no threat to human health.

VDACS recommends the following biosecurity measures for all horses that will come into contact with other horses at shows, trail rides, meets and other events:

  • Minimize direct contact between assembled horses whenever possible.
  • Clean and disinfect equipment, feed, tack, stalls and other surfaces that are shared between horses.
  • Isolate and closely monitor horses that are returning from a show, trail ride or competition for a minimum of 14 days.
  • Clean and disinfect caretakers’ hands, clothing, shoes and vehicles that may be contaminated by other horses or equipment.
  • Consult with your veterinarian about a vaccination schedule for diseases of concern such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, Equine Rhinopneumonitis and rabies. Your equine veterinarian can also provide you with biosecurity recommendations that are specifically tailored to your horses and your facility.

Horse exhibitors and event goers can monitor their horses for early signs of infection by taking their temperature twice a day while at shows and reporting an elevated temperature to their veterinarian.  Veterinarians should report suspected cases of EHM to the Office of Veterinary Services in the Virginia State Veterinarian’s office at 804.786.2483.