February 22, 2013 – A horse from the HITS Ocala show grounds has been confirmed positive for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHV-1 neurologic disease). The diagnosis was obtained by the UF Large Animal Medicine service. The horse has been quarantined in our equine isolation facility since admission. Information about quarantine and management of the show grounds will be directed by the state veterinarian’s office.
Equine herpes virus is a DNA virus that is widespread in the horse population. It can be spread by horse-to-horse contact, by contaminated hands, equipment and tack, and over short distances through aerosolization (airborne spread). Initial clinical signs of the infection may be non-specific and can include fever and respiratory signs.
For horses that are returning home from events where they may have been exposed to the infection, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) recommends:
- These horses should be isolated from any other horses when they return to their home facility. Isolation requires housing them away from other horses, using different equipment to feed, clean and work with them that is used with any other horses, and rigorous hygiene procedures for horse handlers (hand hygiene, wearing separate clothes when contacting the horses, etc.). Please discuss this with your veterinarian.
- Horses should have their temperature taken twice daily, as fever (Temp >101.5 F) is typically the first and most common sign of an infection. Horses with fever may be tested by your veterinarian for EHV.
- Additional resources on EHV from the AAEP can be found at http://www.aaep.org/
Additional resources on EHV, clinical signs, transmission, treatment and testing can be found above and at: