A case of equine herpevirus myloencephalopathy (EHM) has been confirmed at a Virginia boarding stable. The infected horse is located at a western Albemarle County facility, northwest of Charlottesville, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS).
The affected horse is a 14-year-old gelding that began showing symptoms on Saturday, January 31st. The next day the horse became recumbent, but is now stable. A private veterinarian took samples and reported the results to VDACS on Thursday, February 5th, according to the state. The stable is reportedly home to 15 horses and is now under a state imposed quarantine. No horses are allowed to exit or enter the premises until the quarantine is released.
An epidemiologic investigation is underway. Officials state their initial findings indicate that one exposed horse from the facility left the premises within the last 14 days. The horse went out of state.
EHM is a neurological disease caused by equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), a highly infectious disease that usually affects the respiratory system. Occasionally, the virus may also cause neurological disease. There is no vaccine currently on the market that has a label for prevention of the neurologic form of the disease.
Texas officials announced on Friday that two horses have also been confirmed with the neurological form of EHV-1.