March 10, 2021
The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine is actively responding to recent cases of the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus infection (EHM) in central Florida, and wish to provide resources about the disease.
Currently, there are two confirmed EHV-1 cases in Florida. Both horses originated from a single premise, and only one has exhibited neurologic signs. In response to these cases, FDACS has restricted movement on and off the affected premise. There are no other known cases of EHM in Florida at this time but we are monitoring the situation closely. A negative EHV-1 test result was announced yesterday from a horse stabled at the World Equestrian Center (WEC) may have been exposed, the WEC has provided updates and recommended increased biosecurity measures to keep horses safe.
Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) is spread from horse to horse through contact with nasal discharge or spread as aerosol droplets. Horses can also contract the virus by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces such as stalls, water, feed, tack and transport vehicles.
We are currently recommending the following biosecurity precautions for owners of all horses traveling or showing throughout the state:
- Make sure your horse is up to date on vaccinations.
- Monitor horses for clinical signs and take and record the temperature twice daily. Anything greater than 101.5F is considered a fever.
- Immediately isolate any horse(s) showing clinical signs of EHV or EHM, including fever, nasal discharge, uncoordinated gait, and/or difficulty urinating .
- If your horse displays any of the above clinical signs, halt all horse transport on or off your farm and contact your veterinarian to evaluate your horse and to propose a comprehensive biosecurity protocol.
- Increase biosecurity measures that include extensive disinfection of surfaces and equipment that come in contact with affected horses.
- Wash or sanitize your hands between interacting with horses
- Eliminate shared feed tubs and watering troughs
- Minimize the use of shared equipment and tack
EHV-1 RESOURCES FOR VETERINARIANS
- University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine: FAQ Regarding EHV https://largeanimal.vethospitals.ufl.edu/frequently-asked-questions-regarding-equine-herpesvirus/#outbreak
- University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine: EHV PowerPoint http://extension.vetmed.ufl.edu/files/2012/02/EHV-June-2011.pdf
- University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine: EHV-1 Updates and Insights Webinar, May 10, 2021
- FDACS: USAHA EHM Guidance Document https://www.fdacs.gov/content/download/96442/file/EHM_Guidance_Document_Re vised_2018.pdf
- FDACS: Equine Herpesvirus-1 information: https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Animals/Animal-Diseases/Florida-s-Reportable-Equine-Disease-Map/Equine-Herpesvirus-1
- EDCC: The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) is reporting EHV-1 updates on their alerts page and Facebook page. Information about equine herpesvirus neurologic disease is also available on the EDCC website.
- AAEP: The American Association of Equine Practitioners maintains resources for veterinarians, including the AAEP Biosecurity Guidelines, AAEP FAQ: EHV, and Biosecurity at Events