Equine Herpes Outbreak in Western States

May 25, 2011 | healthmap |

Several horses have become sick with Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) and Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopahy (EHM) after attending a horse show in Utah. The National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships ran from April 27th to May 8th in Ogden, Utah. The U.S.D.A. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service reported that any horse owners who brought horses to Ogden have been warned about the spread of EHV-1. EHV-1 is a highly contagious disease that affects horses and causes Rhinopneumonitis (respiratory problems), abortions, and myeloencephalopathy. All of the horses that have died or are being treated for EHV-1 have been vaccinated for Rhinopneumonitis, but the strain going around is actually immune to the vaccine, making it particularly dangerous. EHV-1 can be directly transmitted from horse to horse, but also through contaminated equipments, feed and tack. As of Saturday, there have been 16 confirmed cases of EHV-1 in California, one in Texas, two in Idaho, one in New Mexico, two in Oregon, five in Utah, nine in Colorado, one in Arizona, and five in Washington state. Montana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Nevada and Wyoming are all on high alert about the outbreak, but are yet to report any confirmed cases. The outbreak has also spread to Alberta, Canada. As of May 21, there were three confirmed cases and eight suspected ones in Alberta. This outbreak is very serious and horse owners in the West are warned to be cautious and restrict travel. Several horse shows have been cancelled in hopes of limiting the spread of the virus.

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