New Jersey health officials confirm a Westampton farm has been quarantined after a horse tested positive for equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a neurological disease caused by EHV-1.
The 5-year-old horse was euthanized Saturday due to the rapid progression of multiple symptoms. They included a lack of muscle control, hind limb weakness, stumbling and right facial paralysis.
EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from a complete lack of clinical signs to respiratory problems, especially in young horses.
The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2 to 10 days. The virus spreads readily through direct contact with infected materials. While highly infectious, the virus does not persist in the environment and is neutralized by hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and sunlight.
The stable that houses about 30 horses, is under a state imposed quarantine. No horses are permitted to enter or leave the farm for 21 days. The horses’ temperatures are being monitored twice a day and farm employees are required to utilize bio-security measures.
Horses that moved from the farm to a Pennsylvania farm recently are also being monitored. EHM is a reportable disease in New Jersey.