Second Florida Horse Positive for EHV-1; No Neurologic Signs

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported a second horse was EHV-1 positive—but not showing neurologic signs—at the index facility in Marion County where there was a positive neurologic equine herpesvirus case earlier this month.
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Marion County Florida map

A second Marion County, Florida, horse at a boarding farm has tested positive for EHV-1, but is not showing neurologic signs.

March 10 Update

The first horse with neurologic signs was reported by a private veterinary practitioner in Marion County on March 1, 2021. The horse subsequently tested positive for the equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) neurotrophic strain. 

As of March 9, 2021, the affected horse (index) continued to be treated in a separate isolation facility. The Division of Animal Industry placed the premises under quarantine and immediately began a disease investigation. 

A second horse stalled immediately adjacent to the index horse while at the farm was confirmed positive for EHV-1 on March 4. Although it has been febrile, this second horse is not exhibiting neurologic signs and is being treated at a separate isolation facility. 

Two additional horses from the World Equestrian Center (WEC) that had fevers were tested for EHV-1 and were both negative. 

No new cases of EHV-1 have been identified in Florida at this time. 

The Division of Animal Industry continues to strongly recommend horse owners and trainers to enact strict biosecurity measures for horses that might have been stabled at WEC during the above dates. 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. We have not enacted quarantines or movement restrictions on any facilities other than the single farm in Marion County.

Original Article

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services reported a second horse was EHV-1 positive—but not showing neurologic signs—at the index facility in Marion County where there was a positive neurologic equine herpesvirus case earlier this month.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services offered the following (you can read the complete report here):

A horse with neurological signs was reported by a private veterinary practitioner in Marion County, Florida, on March 1, 2021. The horse subsequently tested positive for the equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) neurotrophic strain. 

As of March 3, 2021, the affected horse (index) continued to be treated in a separate isolation facility. 

The Florida Division of Animal Industry placed the premises under quarantine and immediately began a disease investigation. 

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 is not exhibiting neurologic signs, although it has been febrile and is being treated at a separate isolation facility. 

The 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. 

The Division of Animal Industry continues to strongly recommend that horse owners and trainers enact strict biosecurity measures for horses that may 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. 

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 importing into Florida from the affected regions in Europe. We have not enacted quarantines or movement restrictions on any facilities other than the single farm in Marion County. We are asking all those in the equine community to practice prudent biosecurity on their farms 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. 

An EquiManagement report on the first positive Warmblood mare can be found here.

Information released from the Kentucky State Veterinarian's office can be found here.

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

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