EHV Outbreak Closes Horse Farm at the University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut in Storrs reported an outbreak of Equine Herpes virus (EHV) today. Three of 72 horses housed on the campus there have become ill with the disease. The Connecticut Department of Agriculture has quarantined the premises and activities such as the state’s upcoming auction of rescue horses have been postponed.
According to a news release from state veterinarian Mary Lis, the rescued animals are housed at the Department’s Large Animal Rescue Facility and have had no exposure to UConn’s horses.
The University, known casually as “UConn”, has a very active equine studies program, a Morgan horse breeding farm, intercollegiate horse show teams, and a polo squad at the school’s rural campus northeast of Hartford.
No word yet whether the outbreak is of the neurological form of the disease or not. Last week, a horse admitted for surgery at Fairfield Equine Associates in Newtown, Connecticut was diagnosed with the neurological form of EHV. Newtown is near the New York border, quite a distance from Storrs.
Some not so trivial horse data from the UConn web site includes these facts: “Connecticut has approximately 60,000 horses, which exceeds any other New England state, and ranks second in the nation in horses per square mile. It is interesting to note that three of the top ten states in horse density are located in New England, and five of the top ten are in the Northeast.”
Also for consideration is that Connecticut is the wealthiest state in the United States on a per capita basis, and its citizens are among the best educated. There is one horse for every 58 people in the state according to the state department of agriculture.
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