EDCC Reports on Fair Grounds 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.

Fair Grounds Herpesvirus Outbreak Update

On Wednesday, January 4, 2017, two horses already under quarantine in barn #36 at the Fair Grounds racetrack developed fevers of 104 and 102 and were tested PCR negative for EHV-1 in both blood and nasal samples. On Saturday, January 7, both horses were retested by PCR and are again negative for blood, but were positive for the EVH-1 non-neuropathogenic strain (wild type) on nasal swabs. These two horses were placed in isolation. 

On Friday, January 6, a horse in barn #4 spiked a fever of 103.6 and tested PCR negative on Saturday January 7, for EHV-1 on both blood and nasal samples. Another horse already under quarantine in barn #47 spiked a fever of 102.9 and it also tested PCR negative on Saturday for EHV-1 on all samples. Both horses will be retested in 72 hours. 

To date seven horses have tested positive for EHV-1 at the Fair Grounds racetrack, two positive for the neuropathogenic strain and five positive for the non-neuropathogenic (wild type). The index case diagnosed with neuropathogenic EHV-1 was euthanized and the other six cases are in isolation. Four barns are currently under quarantine. 

A horse that was exposed to the positive horse in the receiving barn was traced to a livestock dealer in Pitkin, Louisiana. That horse is now in quarantine isolation at the facility and an investigation into exposed horses is on-going. The horse reportedly has been purchased and efforts are being made to place the horse in private quarantine for monitoring and testing in so the horse to be moved to its new home out of state. 

Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, USDA, and Racing Commission veterinarians continue to work with track personnel in monitoring the incident at the Fair Grounds.

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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