Neurologic EHV-1 Confirmed in Horse Recently at HITS Thermal

HITS Coachella Desert Circuit

update February 16, 2017

After the confirmation of a horse with the neurologic strain of EHV-1 was previously stabled at HITS Thermal, state officials say EHV-1 is circulating in other horses from the same show tent.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) states the horses were stabled in Tent 21. The state’s regulatory authority to issue quarantines is only for EHV-1 confirmed cases with neurologic signs. It is also known as equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM).

CDFA recommends exhibitors at HITS Coachella Desert Circuit in Thermal follow enhanced biosecurity protocols.

California officials confirm a horse recently showing at the HITS Coachella Desert Circuit in Thermal is positive for the neurologic strain of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1).

The 10-year-old Warmblood from San Diego County began displaying neurologic signs two days after leaving the show grounds on February 7. The horse’s symptoms included urine dribbling and hind limb ataxia.

The gelding was stabled in tent number 21 at the HITS showgrounds from January 21 until February 5.

The state adds based on the horse’s clinical signs and positive lab test, the horse meets the case definition for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). EHM is most often due to the neuropathologic strain of EHV–1.

The state quarantined the EHM positive horse and another exposed horse at their home stable in San Diego County.

Symptoms that should alert horse owners to the possibility of EHV include fever, weakness, in-coordination, and urine dribbling or the inability to urinate.

EHV is highly contagious. Veterinarians recommend limiting horse to horse contact, limiting horse to human contact, and avoiding communal water sources at public horse facilities. They also state you shouldn’t share equipment unless it is disinfected between uses.

HITS requires proof of EHV-1 and EHV-4 vaccinations within 6 months of each show. Current vaccines are not labeled to prevent EHM.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) contacted HITS show management to ensure enhanced biosecurity measure are in place. These include cleaning and disinfecting the stables.

Stay with Rate My Horse PRO as we continue following this developing story.