Neurologic Herpesvirus Confirmed in Florida Warmblood Mare

A Warmblood mare was confirmed with neurologic equine herpesvirus at a boarding facility in Marion County, Florida.
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Marion County Florida map

A Warmblood mare at a boarding facillity in Marion County, Florida, tested positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus.

UPDATE: 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 horses that displayed neurological signs and was reported by a private veterinary practitioner on March 1, 2021.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported a confirmed case of neurologic equine herpesvirus in Marion County. The boarding facility, where 53 other horses were exposed, is under an official quarantine.

On March 1, an 8-year-old Warmblood mare had onset of clinical signs that included ataxia and weakness of the hind limbs. She was confirmed with neurologic equine herpesvirus (also called equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy or EHM) on March 2. The mare was affected and alive at the time of this report.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services stated that, "As of March 3, the affected horse continues to be treated in a separate isolation facility. No additional EHV-1 cases have been detected. The Division of Animal Industry placed the premises under quarantine and immediately began a disease investigation. Additional movement requirements or restrictions have not been imposed by Florida or any other states at this time. 

"We are advising horse owners and trainers to contact the venue of destination for any additional requirements prior to travel. However, in light of the recent EHV-1 outbreak in Europe, we are encouraging all facilities to isolate horses imported into Florida from the affected regions in Europe and to enact strict biosecurity measures to include monitoring the horse’s health and taking temperatures twice per day for at least 14 days. 

"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 1-800-342-5869 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."

Information for this report was provided by the Equine Disease Communication Center.

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