EDCC Reports Kentucky Herpesvirus Outbreak Update

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) offers alerts about equine diseases that have been confirmed by reliable sources. The following information is from the EDCC. The following reports are in chronological order from most recent to oldest from previous reports.

Kentucky Herpesvirus Outbreak Update

Results of testing for the EHV-1 outbreak initially reported on 1/7/17 in Oldham County, Kentucky, identified two additional horses positive for EHV-1. In addition, the horse that had spiked a fever late last week tested positive to the same virus type (neuropathogenic strain). All three of these horses were moved from their stabling area and placed in the isolation unit and none of remaining horses in the barn were positive for EHV-1. 

Subsequently, the horse that had fever presented with neurological abnormalities on Monday and was moved to isolation at a veterinary hospital for treatment where it continues to improve. All horses that had left the facility have been located and testing completed. Two horses that had moved were identified as positive. These horses are in isolation on private facilities and are being monitored with the established protocol.

After developing a fever on 1/9/2017, one horse residing on a premises different from the original premises in Oldham County tested positive for EHV-1 (wild type). There have been no neurologic abnormalities seen. The affected horse on this new premises was moved to an isolation barn when fever was detected and plans are in place to remove him from the premises tomorrow. The barn where this horse resided was placed under order of quarantine by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA). All the horses’ temperatures in all barns on the premises are being monitored and recorded daily. KDA has and will continue to have personnel on the grounds monitoring activity. Samples (nasal swabs and whole blood) were collected from each horse residing in the affected barn and those samples were submitted to the laboratory for EHV-1 testing. Although this is the second premises currently under quarantine are in Oldham County, different strains of the virus are involved. There is no evidence that this case is related to the initial outbreak reported on 1/7/17.

About EDCC

The Equine Disease Communication Center works to protect horses and the horse industry from the threat of infectious diseases in North America. The communication system is designed to seek and report real time information about disease outbreaks similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alerts the human population about diseases in people.

The goal of the EDCC is to alert the horse industry about disease outbreak information to help mitigate and prevent the spread of disease. Ultimately frequent and accurate information about diseases outbreaks improves horse welfare and helps to prevent negative economic impact that can result from decreased horse use due to a fear of spreading infection. As part of the National Equine Health Plan the EDCC will serve as part of the communication to help educate and promote research about endemic and foreign disease.

Working in cooperation with state animal health officials and the United State Department of Agriculture, the EDCC seeks information about current disease outbreaks from news media, social media, official state reports and veterinary practitioners. Once information is confirmed, it is immediately posted on this website and messages sent to all states and horse organizations by email. Daily updates are posted until each outbreak is contained or deemed no longer a threat.

The EDCC is made possible by generous donations from organizations and horse owners. Please visit our sponsors that have generously supported this program for the benefit of the health and welfare of horses. To learn how you can help go to SUPPORT.

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