Neurologic Herpes in New York and Virginia

EHM was diagnosed in horses on farms in Erie and Schuyler Counties, New York, and Hanover County, Virginia.
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Quarantines and biosecurity measures are in place on affected farms.

On January 11, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed neurologic herpes (equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy or EHM) in a Paint mare from Erie County, New York. The mare exhibited ataxia and was confirmed positive for EHV-1 on a nasal swab PCR test. 

The mare and all other horses on the farm are quarantined. Biosecurity measures and temperature monitoring are in place. No horses left the farm in the two weeks preceding the onset of the illness nor have left the farm after the diagnosis of this case. The mare has not traveled off of the farm recently. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to monitor the situation.

On January 10, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets confirmed one case of EHM and one positive diagnosis of EHV-1 at a quarantined premises in Schuyler County, New York. An aged Quarter Horse mare, displaying leaning and hind end ataxia, was confirmed positive for EHV-1 on a nasal swab PCR test late last week. A few days later, a Quarter Horse gelding on the farm with only a high fever also tested PCR positive on a nasal swab for EHV-1. The mare, gelding and all other horses on the farm are quarantined. Biosecurity measures and temperature monitoring are in place. No horses left the farm in the two weeks preceding the onset of the illness and none have left the farm after the diagnosis of the index case. New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to monitor the situation.

Virginia

On January 9, 2019, the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed that three horses had tested positive for equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). The infected horses reside on a pleasure horse farm (index farm) in Hanover County. Two horses were euthanized due to severe neurologic signs due to equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy. A third horse on the index farm began exhibiting neurologic signs on January 10. The farm in Hanover County and a neighboring farm sharing a fence line are under quarantine and all horses and donkeys are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs. No horses from the index farm left the farm in the two weeks prior to exhibiting clinical signs. 

For more information go to http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml and https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Documents/DiseaseFactsheetEHM.pdf

Horse owners may also contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804-786-2483.

This information was supplied by the Equine Disease Communication Center.

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