The Utah state veterinarian has issued new quarantines in Cache County following the confirmation of four additional cases of the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1.)
A total of eight horses have tested positive for the virus. Two were humanely euthanized. The remaining animals are being treated.
Eight locations in Cache County are quarantined, but are not being identified.
After the initial cases were confirmed last week, the Cache County Fairgrounds Horse Arena closed its riding arena. The infected horses were all at the arena recently. Authorities recommend horse owners who had their horses at the arena in the past 30 days should monitor their horse’s temperature and report concerns to their veterinarian. The state vet says horses with temperatures of 103 and above should not travel or mingle with other horses.
“As a precaution to Utah horse owners, I advise they take extra biosecurity steps to safeguard the health of their animals, said State Veterinarian, Dr. Bruce King. “Don’t let your horses touch other horses, especially nose to nose. Isolate horses that return to the farm from a show or event,” added Dr. King. He recommends isolating horses for two weeks after returning home from an event, so they can be monitored for disease symptoms.
Statewide, no other horses have shown signs of EHV-1; however, the state veterinarian’s office is advising Utah horse owners to take extra security measures to prevent unnecessary contact with possibly infected horses, and to quickly report clinical signs to their veterinarian.
The virus is not transmissible to people, but it can be deadly for horses.
It can affect a horse’s reproductive, respiratory and nervous systems and can lead to death. It is a highly contagious disease and can spread rapidly among horses through the air, nose-to-nose contact, contaminated equipment, clothing, and human hands.
Symptoms include include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.