Horse Health Alert: Equine Herpes Virus at Vernon Downs in Upstate New York

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Vernon Downs, a harness racing track in central New York, has issued a statement about the presence of active Equine Herpes Virus in the stable area:

Vernon Downs’ stable area?remains under quarantine as a safety precaution after a case of Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) was diagnosed on Saturday.?The virus is currently contained to one barn on the Vernon backstretch. That barn is?under?constant secured quarantine.

After consultation with the New York Agriculture Board’s Director,?Dr. David Smith, the following practices are suggested for?horses in the area and those transported from track to track: Monitor the body temperature several times each day and perform regular examinations for nasal discharge or coughing.?A temperature of 101.5 and above?or noticeable discharge requires immediate veterinary attention.

At this time,?the intention is?to race?Thursday’s card at Vernon using only those horses stabled at the track.

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While EHV-1 is not transmittable to humans, it may be spread from horse to horse by common contact.?It is also spread through respiratory secretions and via contaminated feed buckets, food, grooming tools and other equine equipment. Take measures to maintain high standards and hygienic methods when performing stable tasks.

No ship-ins will be granted entry to the barn area and will be scratched from the races without penalty.

The length of the quarantine is undetermined at this time. The situation will continue to be monitored by both track and state officials and any updates will be made known in a timely fashion.

The following?precautions address only those horses?that have raced at Vernon Downs from April 19 through May 3. They?are in place for the protection of the entire harness racing community.

If you have a horse that has raced at Vernon during that period,?contact the Tioga Downs or Meadowlands?Race Office to discuss what stipulations need to be met for the entry to be accepted at those tracks.?Upon arrival at the track, tHe’shipper?must produce an official health certificate current within 72 hours and each horse will be subject to an examination by a track veterinarian.

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