EHV-1 is contagious.
A Minnesota official says two horses have tested positive for the non-neuropathogenic strain of the equine herpesvirus (EHV-1.)
One horse was euthanized and the other has made a full recovery. The horses were both from the same facility in Chisago County, according to Bethany Hahn, Communications Director at the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.
Equine practitioners in the eastern part of the state and western Wisconsin are reporting horses with acute neurological signs. Tests are pending.
Stillwater Equine Veterinary Clinic located in Stillwater is communicating with clients regarding the two confirmed cases and reports of additional euthanized horses. The practice recommends barrel racers stay home instead of traveling to shows.
It is suspected the barrel racing horses may have contracted the virus while at a show earlier this month at the Minnesota Equestrian Center in Winona.
Some up-coming events in the area are being cancelled in the area due to the uncertainty of the current situation.
EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses, but poses no threat to humans. It causes respiratory disease, abortion, and intermittent outbreaks of neurologic disease in horses. Symptoms that should alert horse owners to the possibility of neurologic EHV-1 infection include fever, weakness, incoordination, and urine dribbling or inability to urinate. Horses with these symptoms should be examined immediately by a veterinarian. Suspect horses should be isolated from healthy horses.
using proper biosecurity measures when attending equine events to help protect your horses from the potential spread of any illness:
· Limit horse-to-horse contact.
· Limit horse-to-human-to-horse contact.
· Avoid use of communal water sources.
· Avoid sharing of equipment unless thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses.
· Monitor your horse for clinical signs of disease and report any temperature over 102°F to a veterinarian.