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Press Releases

February 6, 2018
Update: Second Horse in Central Virginia Facility Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has confirmed a second diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) at the affected farm in central Virginia. On February 1, 2018, a horse-boarding stable in Chesterfield County was placed under quarantine after a horse with fever and neurologic signs tested positive to the equine herpes virus-1 (EHV), the virus that causes EHM.

Since that time, nine horses in the stable have developed fevers, but none exhibited neurologic signs. Veterinarians tested three of these horses for EHV and one tested positive. Testing for the remainder of the febrile horses will continue over the next several days. The facility will remain under quarantine for 21 days past the last positive finding of EHV.

The febrile horses, which are horses with fever, have been isolated on the farm and are under veterinary care. The stable transferred four of these horses to the isolation unit at Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg for additional care and monitoring. Because these horses were admitted under the established isolation protocol, the Equine Medical Center is not under quarantine and is admitting and treating patients normally. Neither the Chesterfield stable nor the equine medical facility poses a risk to the Virginia horse population.

Generally, VDACS advises horse owners to develop biosecurity protocols with their veterinarian for any horses that enter or travel from another farm. Such practices should include isolating returning or new horses from resident horse populations for 14-21 days. Isolated horses should have temperatures taken twice daily. Contact your veterinarian if any horse has a temperature over 101.50 F.

Additional information on biosecurity protocols is available at The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages

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