Virginia EHV Update: Sixth Horse Tests Positive

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From the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today:

A horse from a second farm in Loudoun County, Virginia tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1). This is the sixth horse from Virginia to test positive. Officials are awaiting lab results on two additional horses at the present time.

The latest positive test came from a horse that was at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) for treatment when EHV-1 was detected in a horse at the center. The farm has been quarantined, along with nine other premises in Virginia, in an effort to control the spread of the virus from horses that possibly were exposed at the EMC. The horse showed signs of fever but did not develop neurological signs as did the other positive horses. He is stable and doing very well.

The positive horses remained at the EMC, were released to another state, or are on farms in Virginia quarantined by State Veterinarian Richard Wilkes. VDACS is guardedly optimistic that the virus has not spread to other animals in Virginia, but since the incubation period can vary from 1-10 days and horses may remain infectious for three to four weeks, only time will tell.

Dr. Wilkes continues to encourage equine activity planners to consider upcoming events carefully and to postpone all non-essential ones to minimize the occasions where horses co-mingle. The mixing and mingling of horses have the potential to compromise bio-security as they move from area to area.

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