New Mexico officials say the number of confirmed equine herpes (EHV-1) cases continues to climb at Sunland Park Racetrack. The outbreak is responsible for 64 cases of EHV-1.
While some may be ready to get back to racing, for most the focus is ensuring the horses are healthy. More than 1500 horses remain quarantined at the track’s facilities. Included under that umbrella are Frontera Training Center, Jovi, and Lazy S.
There are small signs of progress giving hope that the situation may be improving. Five horses have been released since the beginning of the week from the isolation barn. And ten barns were taken off the exposed list. Biosecurity measures remain in place.
EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and can cause abortion, respiratory and neurologic disease.
Transmission of the virus is most commonly through aerosol droplets from coughing or snorting. The virus may also be transferred from horse to horse when secretions from the infected horse are passed on to another horse through contact with people or equipment.
The incubation period of EHV-1 is 1-10 days and signs are typically seen within 1-3 days. Viral shedding of the virus occurs for 7-10 days, but can occur up to 28 days from the onset of signs.
Symptoms may include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.
EHV-1 may lie dormant for long periods of time and then re-activate during a horse’s period of stress, which can result in clinical disease.
A California horse was euthanized due to EHV-1 on Sunday, but the cases are not believed to be related the state says.