Wellington Virus Update: Monday, December 18

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There has been no official update from Wellington since the briefing for equestrians on Saturday, which was followed by a briefing at Palm Beach Equine Clinic attended by about 60 equine veterinarians. Local veterinarians have been busy updating vaccinations for hundreds of horses in the community.

Currently there are no bans for shipping horses into and out of Florida or Wellington itself. Normally, a 21-day "all clear" period would be required before showing would begin again but each outbreak has its own special parameters.

Key aspects of the biosecurity containment policy issued by local veterinarians include:

1. Monitor every horse's temperature twice daily. Report all fevers with a temperature above 101.0 to your veterinarian immediately.

2. Limit unnecessary horse and people traffic in and out of the barn.3. Use antiseptic foot baths and hand cleaners every time anyone comes into or leaves the barn.

Horses in the Southfields residential area and the barn where the infections may have originated (south east corner of Palm Beach Point) are under a strict quarantine. No horses are allowed into or off of these locations until further notice. All horse shows are cancelled for the next 7 days (beginning 12/16/2006). Please be mindful of how infectious this virus is and limit any unnecessary movement of horses for these next 7 days also. Keep your horses where they are.

New links to articles and information updated for 18 December:

Palm Beach Post article about trail closures around Wellington

Palm Beach Post article confirming status of EHV-1 virus in Wellington

South Florida Sun-Sentinel article about impact on horse community

Orlando Sentinel article with quotes from equestrians, veterinarians

Updated report from the State of Florida Division of Animal Industry