EHV-1 Confirmed

Case of Neurologic EHV-1 in Euthanized Virginia Horse

Prince William County

A Virginia horse has been euthanized due to neurologic disease, according to the state’s agriculture department. A post-mortem test on the horse showed the horse as suspect-positive for the neurologic strain of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1).
The index horse had not left its Prince William County farm recently, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. None of the other equines at the stable have shown any signs of the disease to date. The property is under quarantine and all horses are being monitored for symptoms.
EHV-1 may lie dormant for long periods of time and then re-activate during a period of stress, which can result in clinical disease.

Symptoms that should alert horse owners to the possibility of a neurologic EHV-1 infection include fever, weakness, incoordination, and urine dribbling or the inability to urinate. Horses with these symptoms should be examined immediately by a veterinarian.

The EHV-1 vaccine does not protect against the neurological infection.

EHV-1 is highly contagious and can be spread through various methods. Direct, horse-to-horse contact is a common route of transmission, but the indirect transmission is also possible. This occurs when infectious materials are carried between infected and non-infected horses by people or inanimate objects such as buckets, tack, or trailers.

Aerosol transmission can also occur when infectious droplets are inhaled, which are most often respiratory secretions.

The first cases of neurologic EHV-1 in Virginia were in February.