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EHV-1 outbreak

May 18, 2011

This is taken directly from Ridgefield Equine Clinic's FaceBook page.
If you have any other questions, call the office at 360-887-8979.

by Ridgefield Equine Clinic, PC on Tuesday, May 17, 2011 at 12:27pm
Many of you have seen in the news in the past few days, there is an outbreak of the neurologic virus: Equine Herpes Virus type-1 (EHV-1). The numbers are changing by the minute, however at least 6 states including Washington have affected horses. Many of the affected horses attended the National Cutting Association’s Western national Championships in Ogden, Utah (April 30-May 8 2011), or were in contact with persons or horses who attended the Championships.
Some important information:
1)EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and camelids (llamas and alpacas) but does NOT infect humans or small ruminants. Transmission of the disease can be by direct or indirect contact with a horse that is shedding the virus. Humans, tack, and buckets are all potential ways the disease is transmitted. Airborne transmission also occurs; how far the virus can travel and survive in the air is unknown at this time.
2)It can take up to 14 days after exposure to the virus for a horse to become ill. Often the first symptom is a fever (body temperature greater than 101.0 F), monitoring temperature 2-3 times per day of any horses that may have been exposed to the virus can be a helpful tool in early diagnosis. Other symptoms can include inappetance, lethargy, nasal discharge, dribbling urine, abnormal gait (wobbly) among others. 
3)Proper biosecurity is a key component in preventing the spread of this, and many diseases. Stop the movement of any horses who have been in contact with affected horses or facilities. If a horse is known to have been exposed do not allow that horse to have contact with other non-exposed horses. Isolate sick horses. Do not share equipment among horses, wash hands, disinfect. The recommended isolation period for horses potentially exposed is a minimum of 28days.
4) If you are concerned your horse may be affected by, or in contact with horses affected by this outbreak situation, please call our office! There is some indication that vaccination with a high antigen load killed vaccine licensed for abortion control may help minimize the impact of this disease; also there are antiviral pharmaceuticals available for horses; these may be helpful in treating this disease--these can be discussed with us on a case-by-case basis.

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