Source: Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
On August 11th a horse exhibiting neurologic signs was transported to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, VA from a farm in Culpeper, VA. The horse was immediately isolated from the hospital population and has not come into contact with any other patients. On Aug. 12, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Animal Health Lab in Warrenton confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) due to EHV-1. The horse remains isolated while undergoing supportive care. On Aug. 14th, a second horse from the same farm developed a fever and neurologic symptoms and was euthanized. VDACS’ Animal Health Lab confirmed a diagnosis of EHM. The farm is under quarantine. The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center employed strict biosecurity measures and disinfection upon arrival and will continue to do so during the entirety of the horse’s hospitalization. The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center is operating normally.
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion in mares, neonatal foal death, and/or neurologic disease. The neurologic form of EHV-1 is called Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM).
Transmission likely occurs by inhaling infected droplets or ingesting material contaminated by nasal discharges or aborted fetuses. Clinical symptoms may include a fever, difficulty urinating, depression, and stumbling or weakness in the hind limbs. Supportive therapy is often used to treat these cases. In severe cases, horses will be unable to stand; these cases have a very poor prognosis. EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans.
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