Virginia Horse Tests Positive for Herpesvirus-1

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The State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) on Oct. 24 confirmed one horse tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy.

The infected horse was at a boarding stable in Loudoun County. The boarding stable is now under quarantine. Two exposed horses also have been traced back to a boarding stable in Maryland. VDACS has notified the Maryland State Veterinarian.

All exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs.

No additional Virginia horses have been exposed, and there is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia.

EHV-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world. Horses typically are exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percentage of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Rarely, exposed horses develop the neurologic form of the disease. Horse owners with concerns should contact their veterinarian.

For more information on the best practices for disease prevention in horses or EHV-1, visit vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml. Horse owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at (804) 786.2483.