A confirmed case of the highly contagious equine herpes virus (EHV) has caused Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York to close the school's equine hospital and barns to new patients. The school has imposed a voluntary quarantine on the horse-related premises.
"The voluntary quarantine is in response to a confirmed case of equine herpes virus," said Cornell's Karyn L. Bischoff, DVM, MS, Dipl ABVT, Assistant Professor in the Animal Health Diagnostic Center, on the web site and in a release received from the International Society of Infectious Diseases at Harvard University. "We believe there is a low risk of exposure, but out of an abundance of caution, the Equine Hospital barns are under quarantine status."
The following message has been posted to the vet school's web site:
We are currently accepting only emergency cases and those that would be placed in our isolation facility. In cooperation with the State Veterinarian, the Cornell University Hospital for Animals' equine barns are under voluntary quarantine status, with restricted access and biosecurity protocols in place. This is in response to a confirmed case of equine herpes virus, a virus that routinely circulates in the general horse population. Movement of animals between the equine barns and other Cornell facilities is not permitted.
Horses that were discharged from the Cornell Equine Hospital before March 18th were not exposed to known cases in the hospital. "We are presently contacting horse owners whose horses could possibly have been exposed to known equine herpes virus," Cornell stated on its web site. "We have contacted all referring veterinarians who referred horses to our facility during this time period. This virus also routinely circulates in the general horse population."
A question-and-answer page for horse owners and referring veterinarians has been set up on the Cornell University? College of Veterinary Medicine Equine Hospital web site.
Approximately 2,500 horses receive health care each year in Cornell's Equine Hospital. Cornell was recently named the nation's #1 veterinary college in a ranking of the vet schools in the United States, a post it has held for several years.