Florida EHV-1 Information Update for March 31, 2021

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) posted the following notification on March 31, 2021.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services provided an update on the equine herpesvirus cases in that state on March 31, 2021. iStock/Hagencd

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) posted the following notification on March 31, 2021.

A single horse with neurological signs was reported by a private veterinary practitioner in Duval County on March 28, 2021. Test results completed March 30 were positive for EHV-1. 

The horse is currently being treated at a separate isolation facility. 

A second febrile horse on the premises has tested positive for EHV-1, but currently has no neurologic signs. 

The Division of Animal Industry has placed a quarantine on the premises and an investigation is ongoing. 

There is no known epidemiological link between the horses on the Duval County premises and the positive cases reported in early March in Marion County. 

The Marion County premises, which had two positive EHV-1 horses, was released from quarantine on March 29 after 24 days with no horses exhibiting fever or other clinical signs of disease. The Marion Country premises had one horse that displayed neurological signs and was reported by a private veterinary practitioner on March 1, 2021. The horse subsequently tested positive for the equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), neurotrophic strain. 

A second horse stalled immediately adjacent to the index horse while at the farm was confirmed positive for EHV-1 on March 4. This second horse has not exhibited neurologic signs, although it was febrile. This horse has three subsequent negative tests and has returned back to the index premises. 

The Marion County index horse was housed at the World Equestrian Center (WEC) Barn D during week 7 (February 17 – 21, 2021), and the second horse was housed in Barn D during week 8 (February 24 – 28, 2021). The second horse left the World Equestrian Center on February 25, 2021. 

No new cases of EHV-1 have been identified in Florida and numerous horses have been tested from multiple premises (associated and unassociated with the index). 

The Division of Animal Industry continues to strongly recommend horse owners and trainers enact strict biosecurity measures for horses that might have been stabled at WEC during the above dates. Biosecurity measures are key to preventing the spread of EHV-1 and can effectively break the cycle of transmission of the virus. Please see biosecurity resources below. 

Additional movement requirements or restrictions have not been imposed by the State of Florida, however, other states and venues are enacting additional movement requirements. We are advising horse owners, trainers and veterinarians to contact the state and/or venue of destination for any additional movement requirements prior to travel. 

In light of the recent EHV-1 outbreak in Europe, we are encouraging all facilities to isolate horses importing into Florida from the affected regions in Europe. 

EHV-1 has been identified in numerous states over recent weeks. These cases have no known associations with the Florida cases, but some have links to other equestrian events. We are asking all those in the equine community to practice prudent biosecurity on their farm and to report any suspected cases of EHV-1. 

For reporting, call 850-410-0900 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., and 800-342-5869 after hours and weekends, or email RAD@FDACS.gov

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will continue to work with the affected premises management, owners and veterinarians to ensure proper safeguards are taken to prevent further spread of the disease. 

Please continue to visit www.FDACS.gov/ai for current information regarding this incident. 

Additional Resources

More information on the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) can be found at the following Websites: 

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