New Jersey horse owners can breathe a sigh of relief.? Last week the Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher announced that his department has lifted quarantines at Overbrook and Tourelay Farms in Colts Neck. The quarantines have restricted horse movement in and out of the two Monmouth County farms since April 14, when? an Equine Herpes outbreak was discovered.
An investigation at that time found six horses at one of the farms had contracted the neurologic form of Equine Herpes Virus, Type One (EHV-1). ??One of those horses was euthanized after it failed to respond to treatment.? The other five horses recovered from their illnesses.
During the course of the 21-day quarantine, all horses at both farms were under veterinary supervision. Department of Agriculture veterinarians made frequent visits, monitoring for signs of EHV-1.? The quarantine was lifted after a final check by state veterinarians found no signs of the disease.
Acting State Veterinarian Dr. Manoel Tamassia issued the following recommendation to all New Jersey horse owners: "People should be alert to the signs of neurologic Equine Herpes and if they see these signs they should contact their veterinarian immediately.? The virus spreads quickly from horse to horse and can cause death."
The EHV-1 virus can cause a wide range of symptoms, from a complete lack of clinical signs to respiratory problems, especially in young horses, and spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares.? The neurologic form of EHV-1, additionally, can cause an acute paralytic syndrome, which results in a high mortality.?The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2 to 10 days.? The virus spreads readily through direct contact with infected materials.
The virus does not affect humans and other domestic animals, with the exception of llamas and alpacas.
The neurologic form of EHV is a reportable disease in New Jersey.? For more information about the disease, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/ah/pdf/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf.
Meanwhile the Jersey Fresh CCI*** began yesterday at the New Jersey Horse Park as the sport of eventing gradually moves back into the northern states and Thoroughrbed racing begins this weekend at the state's lovely Monmouth Park. Welcome back, New Jersey! An all-clear on EHV is welcome news when big events like those are bringing van loads of horses into the state.