Equine herpes virus reported in Colorado, Tennessee and Kentucky

A Colorado facility is under quarantine after one of its horses tested positive for equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) Friday, according to the Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA).

EHV-1 is a highly contagious virus in horses that can cause severe respiratory and neurological problems, failed pregnancy and in the worst cases, death. The virus commonly is spread through animal-to-animal contact and through the air, and although it doesn’t affect humans, we can spread it through clothing and touch.

The horse was brought into Colorado from Iowa through a private owner. Sadly, it had to be euthanized after displaying severe neurological symptoms stemming from EHV-1. In addition to the facility that received the horse, three other facilities are under quarantine that received horses in the same shipment as the infected animal, according to the CDA.

So far, other horses transported with the infected horse havenot shown signs of EHV-1, according to The Horse.com.

The Iowa ranch where the infected horse came from also is under quarantine, according to the American Quarter Horse Association.

Symptoms of EHV-1 include loss of coordination and balance, fever, weakness of the back legs, lethargy, failed pregnancy, nasal discharge and coughing, according to the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).

There is no cure for the disease but it is treatable. Vaccines are available, according to the AAEP.

An unrelated suspected outbreak of EHV-1 also has been reported in Tennessee, with nine cases either confirmed or suspected. All of the horses had participated in trail ride at the end of April. Two of the horses have been euthanized, according to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

About 100 horses attended the ride, including horses from Kentucky.

Other recent illness reports

23 cases of atypical myopathy diagnosed in spring 2012 – The Horse.com

23 horses die from botulism outbreak in Maine – Food Safety News, Neogen blog post

Equine influenza hits FEI event at La Baule, France – The Horse. com

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