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A New Update - Equine Herpes Virus type1 Status Report – Florida



 

(Editor’s Note: The following news is courtesy of the US Equestrian Federation.)

 

From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services/Division of Animal Industry

Equine Herpes Virus type1 Status Report – Florida

Revised December 25, 2006 at 12:30 pm

Nine cases of Equine Herpes Virus – type 1 (EHV-1) have been confirmed with laboratory testing from horses, seven in the Wellington area, one in Ocala, Florida and one in Indiantown, Florida. The Ocala horse shipped from south Florida and had a direct link to one of the horses shipped in from New York, on November 29th. Five deaths have been attributed to this disease, although only two of those cases could be confirmed by laboratory tests. The index or first case reported was a horse imported from Europe through the USDA New York Animal Import Center.

State and Federal officials are working closely with veterinarians, owners, managers, and others in the affected equine industry to identify potentially exposed animals and suspect cases and to prevent further spread of the disease.

There are ten quarantined premises, seven in the Wellington area, one in Ocala, Florida, one in Jupiter, Florida, and one in Indiantown, Florida. Eight premises with confirmed cases are under state quarantine and two premises with suspect neurologic cases are under state quarantine. Currently, there are not state or federal restrictions for horse movements into, within, or out of the state of Florida. Some premises and events have their own entry requirements. Contact your point of destination for specific information concerning any restrictions that premises/events may have imposed.

Industry representatives and state and federal officials have agreed on a number of steps to contain this outbreak. These include the identification of potentially exposed animals with appropriate monitoring and bio-security measures taken, isolation and treatment of suspected cases, and coordination of control efforts by industry and state and federal representatives. The close working relationship between cooperators, stakeholders, and the public is the key to limiting the spread of this disease.

Although EHV-1 can be a serious disease of horses and the virus can spread through the air from respiratory infection, transmission generally requires direct or close contact between horses. Transmission can also occur through contaminated equipment, clothing, and hands. Horses with clinical signs should be isolated and kept 40 feet or more from other horses.

Owners with sick horses should contact their private veterinarian to examine and treat their horses. Veterinarians suspecting EHV-1 with neurologic signs are advised to contact state officials and follow protocols for collecting and submitting appropriate samples for laboratory diagnosis.

While herpes vaccines are available, none are specifically labeled for the neurologic form of EHV-1. Concerned owners should discuss whether vaccination of their animals is recommended, the type of vaccines available, and the frequency of recommended vaccination with their veterinarian. Vaccination in the face of an outbreak will probably not prevent infection but may lessen respiratory signs and reduce viral shedding with future exposure.

For more information, please see the following web sites:

Univ of FL, CVM
My Horse Matters.com
Univ of Kentucky


Revised December 21, 2006 at 4:40 pm


Eight cases of Equine Herpes Virus – type 1 (EHV-1) have been confirmed with laboratory testing from horses, seven in the Wellington area and one in Ocala, Florida. The Ocala horse shipped from south Florida and had a direct link to one of the horses shipped in from New York, on November 29th. Four deaths have been attributed to this disease, although only one of those cases could be confirmed by laboratory tests. Nine cases have had neurologic signs. The index or first case reported was a horse imported from Europe though the USDA New York Animal Import Center.


State and Federal officials are working closely with veterinarians, owners, managers, and others in the affected equine industry to identify potentially exposed animals and suspect cases and to prevent further spread of the disease.


There are eight quarantined premises, six in the Wellington area, one in Ocala, Florida, and one in Jupiter, Florida. Six premises with confirmed cases are under state quarantine and two premises with suspect neurologic cases are under state quarantine.
Currently, there are not state or federal restrictions for horse movements into, within, or out of the state of Florida. Some premises and events have their own entry requirements. Contact your point of destination for specific information concerning any restrictions that premises/events may have imposed.


Industry representatives and state and federal officials have agreed on a number of steps to contain this outbreak. These include the identification of potentially exposed animals with appropriate monitoring and bio-security measures taken, isolation and treatment of suspected cases, and coordination of control efforts by industry and state and federal representatives. The close working relationship between cooperators, stakeholders, and the public is the key to limiting the spread of this disease.


Although EHV-1 can be a serious disease of horses and the virus can spread through the air from respiratory infection, transmission generally requires direct or close contact between horses. Transmission can also occur through contaminated equipment, clothing, and hands. Horses with clinical signs should be isolated and kept 40 feet or more from other horses.


Owners with sick horses should contact their private veterinarian to examine and treat their horses. Veterinarians suspecting EHV-1 with neurologic signs are advised to contact state officials and follow protocols for collecting and submitting appropriate samples for laboratory diagnosis.


While herpes vaccines are available, none are specifically labeled for the neurologic form of EHV-1. Concerned owners should discuss whether vaccination of their animals is recommended, the type of vaccines available, and the frequency of recommended vaccination with their veterinarian. Vaccination in the face of an outbreak will probably not prevent infection but may lessen respiratory signs and reduce viral shedding with

(Dec. 20, 2006) TALLAHASSEE – Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson says the department’s Division of Animal Industry is continuing the investigation into the presence of Equine Herpesvirus – type 1 (EHV-1) in several areas of the state including Wellington, Jupiter and the Ocala area.  EHV-1 can be a serious disease of horses and the virus can spread through the air from the respiratory route of affected horses.  Transmission can also occur through contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.


So far, seven horses have tested positive for the virus through lab tests. All confirmed cases are under quarantine.

Here is a chronology of events:

Five horses imported from Europe were brought to Florida from the New York animal import station, a quarantine station for imported horses; three more horses were picked up en route in Huntington, N.Y. and one in Darlington, Maryland.  When the truck arrived on November 29th in Wellington, Florida, one of the horses from the import station was ill.  That horse is now recovering but two horses that were stabled with the index horse at the original facility became ill and died. A lab test on one of those horses confirmed EHV-1.  The facility, J N and Company is currently under state quarantine and the horses are being closely monitored.  No horses are allowed to enter or leave the premises.

The Maryland horse had been transported to another Wellington location, Southfields Training facility, and died on December 2nd.  While no lab test was done, because of its exposure to the disease, the Southfields facility voluntarily restricted all movement of horses.  Late today, a lab test confirmed a positive case within that facility at the Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex, which is part of the Southfields Training facility. There is a second suspect case there awaiting lab test confirmation.  The Department is also placing this facility under quarantine.

A horse that was exposed to the virus during the shipment into Florida was treated at the Palm Beach Equine Clinic and is believed to have been a possible link to the horse in Ocala, which was at the clinic at the same time. The Ocala horse has tested positive for EHV-1 and was transported to Ocala on December 11th.  The horse was ill when it arrived and was immediately isolated from all other horses at the Ocala location, Tuxedo Farms. The horse continues to be isolated and a portion of that facility is also under quarantine.

The Palm Beach Equine Clinic indicated it is contacting the owners of all horses that were there at the same time as the index horse to make them aware of the situation and find out if any of the horses are exhibiting any signs of EHV-1.  So far the department has received no reports of any other horses that were at the clinic showing disease signs.

A horse at Pinehurst Stables, in Jupiter, Florida has also been reported with neurological symptoms of the disease and a sample has been submitted for a lab test.

The Division of Animal Industry is working closely with veterinarians and equine facilities in the impacted locations to monitor the animals and assist with testing. 

Owners with sick horses should contact their private veterinarian to examine and treat their horses. Veterinarians suspecting EHV-1 with neurological signs are advised to contact state officials and follow protocols for collecting and submitting appropriate samples for laboratory diagnosis. 

Horse owners in the impacted areas are being asked to follow bio-security measures until the virus is controlled.  The measures are:

§         Have temperatures taken a minimum of twice daily, with a temperature log being maintained on each horse.  Horses with fevers >101.9 or >1 degree above their normal temperature should be reported to the stable’s veterinarian. The horse should be isolated and EHV-1 samples should be taken by the stable veterinarian.

                      

§         Limiting admittance of people into the barn area to only necessary personnel.

                      

§         When entering or exiting a stable or barn use foot baths to disinfecting outer foot wear and wash hands.

                      

§         Washing hands with soap and water or using a dry disinfectant after handling each horse.

                      

§         Minimizing the use of shared equipment.  Equipment such as water buckets, lead ropes, grooming equipment, etc. should not be shared between horses. These items should be labeled as belonging to an individual horse. Other equipment such as twitches, shovels, forks and bits should be disinfected daily and between each use.

 

§         Care should be taken when filling water buckets and feed troughs. Neither the hose nor the feed scoop should have contact with an individual horse’s bucket or trough.

 

§         Multi-dose oral medications should not be shared between horses.

 

§         Any additional bio-security precautions the stable veterinarian or stable manager recommend.

 


 

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