Florida Virus: End of the Year Update on the Ongoing Story

Once again, conflicting news is coming out of South Florida regarding the status of the disease outbreak.

The Florida Association of Equine Practitioners (FAEP) and the State of Florida’s Animal Industry web site are reporting that the outbreak is contained, and are sounding optimistic that “the show must go on.”

Meanwhile, the Palm Beach Post reported on Friday that another horse tested positive, and a horse has been isolated on the Gulf coast of Florida while veterinarians there await test results to see if the horse, which had been exposed to the Wellington horses, tests positive for EHV-1.

On December 31, the Palm Beach Post reported the death of another horse, the sixth fatality in the Florida outbreak.

Several veterinarians and about 40 trainers, owners, and riders met at the Jockey Club in Wellington, Florida on December 28. Dr. Michael Short from the State of Florida Department of Agriculture was also there to answer questions.

The FAEP, on its web site, reports no known new cases of EHV-1 since the horse at Victory Lane tested positive. The barn where it is stabled is currently under a state quarantine and, according to the most recent report by FAEP, there currently is no known link to this horse and any of the other cases in Wellington.

Guidelines for when horses might begin shipping to Wellington for the upcoming shows and the polo season were discussed at the meeting. Horse show organizers Stadium Jumping and Littlewood Farm, who both cancelled holiday shows, appear comfortable with horses beginning to enter their stabling sometime between January 2nd and January 8th. The conditions or requirements for those horses have not yet been finalized by Stadium Jumping.

Rob Boswell DVM of Palm Beach Equine Clinic discussed the hospital’s timeline of the initial case that was admitted to his facility. This detailed report has been linked to this report for those who wish to analyze that aspect of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the Palm Beach Post attributes news of another case to the State of Florida Department of Agriculture, but there is no mention of this case on the official web site. According to the Post, the first new positive case since December 22, a horse named Lipton, was identified at S&L Farms in Wellington, and there are two new suspect cases at the Palm Beach Equestrian Sports Center.

The Florida Horse Park in Ocala has cancelled an endurance event and polo match this weekend.

Please check back; news may be added throughout the weekend and this conflict in information may clear up. However, official news may be scarce because of the long holiday weekend. I am sorry if this reports sound contradictory, but feel it is best to post news as it is provided to me.

Here are our most recent links:

1 January 2007University of California at Davis Information Page on EHV (general information on virus, not the current outbreak)

31 DecemberPalm Beach Post 31 December Report on Sixth Horse to Die

30 DecemberPalm Beach Post 30 December Report of a New Case

Lee County horse isolated on Gulf coast of Florida, veterinarians await test results

Sun-Sentinel article detailing “wait and see” shippers on December 29

Sun-Sentinel Summary of Cases, Timeline as of 28 December

The State of Florida has added a downloadable PDF file of information on EHV in Spanish; scroll down to the list of documents

The State of Florida has expanded information on its web site about EHV and includes a list of quarantined premises and a timeline of the outbreak

Horse show host Littlewood Farms, which has not been directly affected by any cases, issues strict guidelines and requirements for shippers-in

Florida Horse Park update as posted on USeventing.com

Florida Horse Park home page with video (loads slowly) update from Tom Warriner

Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) has published health requirements for the upcoming shows in Ocala. HITS showgrounds are not affected by any virus restrictions.The Palm Beach Post actually had a reporter at the Wellington meeting on the 28th; read this article for quotes from veterinarians and trainers who attended




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