Kentucky Reports Equine Neurologic Herpesvirus Case

A 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly in Woodford County, Kentucky, has tested positive for the neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1.
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A 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly in Woodford County, Kentucky, has tested positive for the neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1.

Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM, also known as neurologic equine herpesvirus) has been confirmed in a 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly in Woodford County, Kentucky.

The filly reportedly had a fever on Saturday and was referred to a veterinary hospital in Lexington on Tuesday evening after becoming unstable and ataxic.

The Kentucky State Veterinarian's Office was alerted of the suspected equine herpesvirus case on Tuesday night, and the training facility was placed under restriction pending completion of diagnostic testing.

PCR testing conducted at Equine Diagnostic Solutions in Lexington, Kentucky, reported that the neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1 was detected from the nasal swab.

Animal health officials have been present at the facility, previously imposed restrictions remain in place, and 27 exposed horses had samples (nasal swabs and whole blood) collected earlier today (March 11) and submitted for PCR testing.

The horse was reported last night as showing signs of improvement.

There is no connection to any other EHV-1 incidents.

Turfway Park Precautionary Measures

In addition to the affected premises, precautionary measures have been implemented at Turfway Park (live Thoroughbred race meet), with all horses shipping in to race being required to stable in the receiving barn unless the trainer has permanently assigned stalls at Turfway. 

In addition to adjustment of stabling, biosecurity protocols have been elevated. The Kentucky State Veterinarian's office has personnel on site examining health documents and coordinating efforts with the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s staff.

Updates will be provided as information is learned.

Information from the Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian was provided by Rusty Ford, Equine Operations Consultant.

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