Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) Quarantine in Colorado Announced

A horse in Larimer County has tested positive for the highly contagious disease.

Received via press release:

On March 26, 2014, the State Veterinarian’s Office was notified by the Colorado State University Diagnostic Laboratory that a Larimer County horse tested positive for EHV-1. CDA is investigating the positive case and has placed the facility where the horse is stabled under quarantine. 

The horse is undergoing treatment and others it may have come into contact with are being monitored but are not showing clinical signs of the disease at this point. At this time the affected horse is the only horse showing any clinical signs of disease and is recovering.

“The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contactbut it can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands; this certainly highlights the importance of practicing basic biosecurity practices,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. 

“Equine event organizers should continue to practice routine biosecurity practices that are effective inprevention of EHV and other horse diseases as well. There was very limited movement from the affected facility so the risk to other horse owners or event organizers is very low, essentially the same as before this index case.” 

Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable. EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death. 

For more information, visit A Guide To Understanding the Neurologic Form of EHV Infection or visit www.colorado.gov/ag/animals and click on “Animal Health.”

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