North Dakota officials are reporting there have been three confirmed cases of non-neuropathogenic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) this year.
The most recent was a horse that tested positive last week and is being isolated at a farm in Burleigh County, according to Deputy State Veterinarian Beth Carlson, DVM.
Two horses stabled at the same location, also in Burleigh County, tested positive earlier in 2014. “The first one actually tested positive in late February at an out-of-state lab which failed to report to us, so we just learned about it recently,” says Dr. Carlson. The treating veterinarian recommended isolation for all of the horses at the farm, so none of the horses have left since the onset of clinical signs. All three horses are improving.
EHV-1 is a reportable in North Dakota, but Dr. Carlson says, “we do not take official action and rely on practicing veterinarians to make appropriate recommendations regarding isolation, treatment, biosecurity and vaccination.”
EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses, but poses no threat to humans. It causes respiratory disease, abortion, and intermittent outbreaks of neurologic disease in horses. Symptoms that should alert horse owners to the possibility of neurologic EHV-1 infection include fever, weakness, incoordination, and urine dribbling or inability to urinate. Horses with these symptoms should be examined immediately by a veterinarian. Suspect horses should be isolated from healthy horses.