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Press Releases

February 1, 2023
Augusta County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1
Contact: Michael Wallace

On February 1, the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) received results that a horse at a small boarding stable in Augusta County tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy. The horse showed a fever and neurologic signs and was euthanized due to a poor prognosis. No other horses on the farm have any clinical signs associated with the disease. The boarding stable has been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses on the farm are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs. No horses have been off the farm in the past 14 days and all owners with potentially exposed horses have been contacted. No additional Virginia horses have been exposed.

There is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia. EHV-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world. Horses typically are exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percent of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Rarely, exposed horses develop the neurologic form of the disease. Horse owners with concerns should contact their veterinarian. EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans.

For more information, visit the VDACS EHV-1 website and for information on best practices for disease prevention in horses visit the Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity website. Horse owners also may contact the VDACS Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.

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