EHV-1 Confirmed at HITS Ocala

EHV-1 Confirmed at HITS Ocala

A horse at the HITS Ocala showgrounds in Florida has tested positive with the neurologic form of EHV-1. Information is limited at this time, but we do know the horse was shipped to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine Thursday evening and is quarantined. The animal is reportedly in stable condition.
Mike Short, DVM, Equine Program Manager for the State of Florida Veterinary Office tells Rate My Horse PRO Tent 7 and the “index farm” are under a state imposed quarantine. He says the length of the quarantine depends on the risk factors, test results, and if the horses show clinical signs. The usual protocol is 21 to 28 days depending on the varying factors.
He says there are no other confirmed cases at this time.
A statement released today by HITS states:
“The tent where the horse was stabled has been quarantined and all horses are being monitored closely. Any signs of fever will be treated by vets immediately. No restrictions on horse movement on or off the show grounds have been declared at this time.”
The horse show’s classes continue today.
The impact may be felt by some competitors wanting to head south to compete in Wellington. Equestrian Sports Productions announced that no horses will be allowed to ship onto the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center property without a health certificate within 48 hours of arriving. All horses must also arrive during daylight hours and no horses are being accepted from Ocala onto the grounds.
“ESP management has contacted all major shippers to inform them of the situation and for them to increase their biosecurity as well. There is currently no restriction on horses leaving the property.”
EHV-1 spreads through the air and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from a complete lack of clinical signs to respiratory problems. The neurologic form of EHV-1 can cause paralysis and even death. The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically a couple of days to more than a week.
The infection can be spread by horse-to-horse contact, by contaminated hands, equipment and tack, and over short distances so owners and grooms are encouraged to take extra precautions.
To report a suspected case of EHV-1, call 850-410-0900 Monday through Friday 8:00 am-5:00 pm and 1-800-342-5869 after hours and weekends.