Wellington Virus Update: Tuesday, December 19

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The news is still chilling out of Wellington, Florida, where an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus - Type 1 (EHV-1) has cancelled horse shows this month and some in January. Part of the village is under quarantine, while everyone is advised to practice safe horsecare methods to prevent the spread of the virus.

An information hotline has been set up for owners, trainers and horse professionals to seek the latest information and advice. The number is 561-791-4003.

Once again, here is the most recent summary from state officials at the Division of Animal Industry:

Five cases of Equine Herpesvirus - type 1 (EHV-1) have been confirmed with laboratory testing from horses on a quarantined premises in the Wellington, Fla., area. Four additional premises have movement restrictions in place pending further laboratory testing. Three deaths and 15 clinical cases have been attributed to this disease. Six cases have had neurological signs. The index or first case reported was a horse imported from Europe though the USDA New York Animal Import Center. Animals on suspected or affected premises are being monitored for fever and other clinical signs on a daily basis and laboratory work is pending on additional cases.

State and Federal officials are working closely with veterinarians, owners, managers, and others in the affected equine industry to identify potentially exposed animals and suspect cases and to prevent further spread of the disease.

With the exception of the affected premises, there are no state or federal restrictions for horse movements into, within, or out of state of Florida.

As always, rumors abound. As of this morning, there is no official decision regarding the upcoming Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, which begins in late January and runs for three months.

Here are some of the latest stories for today; links will be added as the stories come in:

Howard Goodman's observations in the Sun-Sentinel

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