Rural, affluent Dutchess County, New York is the latest hot spot on the Equine Herpes Virus map. Cornell University county extension offices in the country reported on Monday that the virus has been discovered, and more news should be available shortly.
If you live in Dutchess County and want more information, try these links; at the time of this posting, there is little information available. One veterinarian from the immediate area claimed that the horse in question was not confirmed to have EHV. The state of New York usually is excellent about communications, so check the web for updates before you panic.
Two outbreaks of EHV occured in the past month in nearby Connecticut. Dutchess County is not far from Fairfield Equine Associates, site of one of the outbreaks.
Here are some good links to seek more information if you live in the area:
Recommended site for general infomration on Equine Herpes Virus:
The initial official information to date:
"Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County has announced that EHV-1 has been diagnosed in a horse residing in Dutchess County, New York. EHV-1 is the widely used short form for a commonly occurring form of Equine Herpes Virus. A diagnosis of EHV-1 of concern due to its communicability, its abortive effect on pregnant broodmares, and a form of the virus that is appearing that causes neurological symptoms that can cause death.
"Your vigilance is critical not only with watching out for clinical signs, but using the appropriate biosecurity measures as well.
Suggested steps posted by Ms. Jennifer E. Fimbel, Livestock Resource Educator of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Dutchess County:
"Please use the posted link on the New York State Agriculture and Markets website - http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/ehv1.html
"Follow that link to the procedures outlined by the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Science. These articles are easy to access, easy to read and fully downloadable."
Dutchess County is home to horsey communities like Millbrook, Amenia, Pawling, and Rhinebeck. Many Thoroughbred and Standardbred breeding farms are in the county; eventing, hunter/jumper shows, and foxhunting are popular there, as well, but almost all breeds and types of horses are found in the county. A recent New York Times travel section article about Pawling was titled "Billionaires Welcome!" Pawling is one of the few towns in the area that has not outlawed private helipads on farms. Martha Stewart lives in Dutchess County with her four Dutch Friesians.
Dutchess County lies along the Hudson River bordering Connecticut, south of Albany, about 70 miles north of Manhattan. It is a lovely place to be a horse. It is also chilling to think about an outbreak in this area because so many horses are in transit from and to trainers and racetracks; breeding season is also in full swing for the Thoroughbred farms there.