January 4, 2017
A fifth horse tested positive for the equine herpes virus at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture allowed the Thoroughbred to be released to a private farm where the animal will be isolated.
The fifth horse tested positive for the wild-type strain, like three of the other infected horses.
The first horse tested positive for the mutated neurogenic strain. A veterinarian euthanized the horse.
The Fair Grounds backstretch remains under quarantine.
One horse euthanized
A Louisiana track is quarantined after multiple horses tested positive for the equine herpes virus. The New Orleans Fair Grounds racetrack is not allowing horses to ship in or out of the property, although racing continues.
Test results confirmed Monday that a third horse from a second barn is positive for EHV-1. This most recent horse spiked a fever, in addition to suffering from mild hind leg deficits and nystagmus (when eyes make uncontrolled movements).
The state originally quarantined one barn containing 46 horses after a 2-year-old Thoroughbred developed a fever and neurological symptoms. A veterinarian euthanized the gelding on December 26. A nasal swab and blood test confirmed the gelding’s diagnosis of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a mutant strain of EHV-1.
EHM was last seen at the track in 2008, according to Louisiana agriculture officials.
Officials are checking horses for signs of fever twice a day. Additional symptoms of EHV-1 include ocular or nasal discharge, limb swelling, abortion, and neurologic signs.
Many veterinarians recommend vaccinating for EHV-1, although there is no vaccine to protect horses from the mutant strain. For more information contact your veterinarian.