A Minnesota veterinarian says a total of nine horses have tested positive for the non-neuropathogenic strain of the equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) across three states.
Dr. Christie Ward from the University of Minnesota tells Rate My Horse PRO the most recent positive case is located in Linn County, Iowa. The horse was reportedly shipped to a farm in Minnesota, where it spent a day prior to returning home. The horse is under a self-imposed quarantine by the facility’s owners in Marion.
The remaining positive cases have been in horses located in eastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Dr. Ward says tests are pending on “additional suspects,” but the number of confirmed cases euthanized has held steady at three.
There are no state imposed quarantines, but the affected properties in Minnesota are under voluntary quarantine for the next month. Each time a new positive case is confirmed, the calendar resets.
The horses initially affected were directly or indirectly connected to the local barrel racing scene, according to Dr. Ward.
EHV-1 is highly contagious and can be deadly to horses. The virus causes respiratory disease, abortion, and intermittent outbreaks of neurologic disease.