OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 1, 2016
VIRGINIA HORSE TESTS POSITIVE FOR EQUINE HERPESVIRUS-1 IN FLORIDA
On the evening of February 29, the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) was notified by the Florida State Veterinarian’s Office that a Virginia horse recently relocated to Martin County, Florida was confirmed with Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1). Clinical signs were consistent with Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM). The infected (index) horse was placed in isolation early in the day and the Florida facility was placed under quarantine.
An investigation revealed that the index horse was shipped from a Thoroughbred training facility in Fauquier County, Virginia to Florida on February 22. The Virginia training facility has been placed under quarantine by VDACS, and all exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs. To date, no exposed horses in Virginia have shown clinical signs of disease or been febrile, but the monitoring will continue throughout the quarantine period. In addition to the horses exposed at the training facility, the investigation has revealed only one other exposed horse that traveled out of state.
The index horse traveled from Virginia to Florida with additional horses that off loaded in South Carolina. The South Carolina State Veterinarian was notified and has taken similar precautions for those exposed horses.
State animal health officials in Virginia and Florida will continue to monitor the situation and will provide updates as warranted.
For more information on EHM, see http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml or contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.
Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219