A Colorado official says a horse has tested positive for the non-neuropathogenic strain of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1.)
The Colorado Department of Agriculture has placed the Larimer County facility where the horse is stabled under quarantine. The affected horse is undergoing treatment and is recovering. Other horses that may have come into contact with the sick horse being monitored, but are not showing clinical signs of the disease currently. An investigation is also underway.
“The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact, but it can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands; this certainly highlights the importance of practicing basic biosecurity practices,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr. “Equine event organizers should continue to practice routine biosecurity practices that are effective in prevention of EHV and other horse diseases as well. There was very limited movement from the affected facility so the risk to other horse owners or event organizers is very low, essentially the same as before this index case.”
Symptoms 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 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death.