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Informational Articles and News

UPDATE to Confirmed cases of EHV-1

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2018
No Additional Exposed Virginia Horses in Confirmed Equine Herpesvirus-1 Cases

~No Virginia horses have had any contact with either property, including trail riders~

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has completed its epidemiological investigation after a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in two horses in central Virginia. As reported on February 28, 2018, the State Veterinarian’s Office at VDACS confirmed that two horses exhibiting neurological signs were euthanized and tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes EHM.

There is no link between the two horses and the timing of the EHM finding is coincidental. One horse was housed at the Hazelwild Equestrian Center in Fredericksburg and the second was located on a private farm in Powhatan County. Both facilities have been placed under quarantine. 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. Several horses from Maryland visited the Hazelwild Equestrian Center last weekend for an Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) show; the farms in Maryland associated with these horses have been quarantined and all horses will be monitored. The immediate neighbor of the Powhatan County farm is voluntarily quarantining their horses due to casual contact. No Virginia horses have had any contact with either property, including trail riders.

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 percent 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.

The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity have more information on best practices for disease prevention in horses and VDACS has more information on EHV-1 at vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml. Horse owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

New unrelated cases of EHV-1 detected in Virginia

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

For Immediate Release
Feb. 28, 2018

Virginia Horses Test Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in two horses in Virginia. On Tuesday, February 27, the State Veterinarian’s Office at VDACS confirmed that two horses exhibiting neurological signs tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes EHM. Both horses were euthanized.

There is no link between the two horses and the timing of the EHM finding is coincidental. One horse was housed at the Hazelwild Equestrian Center in Fredericksburg and the second was located on a private farm in Powhatan County. Both facilities have been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs, and VDACS is working with the facility owners to determine if any exposed horses have left the premises. Owners of exposed horses will be notified and are advised to isolate and observe their horses closely for signs of the disease.

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 percent 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.

The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity have more information on best practices for disease prevention in horses and VDACS has more information on EHV-1 at vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml. Horse owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.

 

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

2nd Horse in Central VA Facility Tests Positive for EHV-1 

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS,
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

 

For Immediate Release

Feb. 6, 2018

Update: Second Horse in Central Virginia Facility Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 

 The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has confirmed a second diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) at the affected farm in central Virginia. On February 1, 2018, a horse-boarding stable in Chesterfield County was placed under quarantine after a horse with fever and neurologic signs tested positive to the equine herpes virus-1 (EHV), the virus that causes EHM.

Since that time, nine horses in the stable have developed fevers, but none exhibited neurologic signs. Veterinarians tested three of these horses for EHV and one tested positive. Testing for the remainder of the febrile horses will continue over the next several days. The facility will remain under quarantine for 21 days past the last positive finding of EHV.

The febrile horses, which are horses with fever, have been isolated on the farm and are under veterinary care. The stable transferred four of these horses to the isolation unit at Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg for additional care and monitoring. Because these horses were admitted under the established isolation protocol, the Equine Medical Center is not under quarantine and is admitting and treating patients normally. Neither the Chesterfield stable nor the equine medical facility poses a risk to the Virginia horse population.

Generally, VDACS advises horse owners to develop biosecurity protocols with their veterinarian for any horses that enter or travel from another farm. Such practices should include isolating returning or new horses from resident horse populations for 14-21 days. Isolated horses should have temperatures taken twice daily. Contact your veterinarian if any horse has a temperature over 101.50 F.

Additional information on biosecurity protocols is available at The Equine Disease Communications Center Biosecurity web pages equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity

Elaine J. Lidholm

Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy in Chesterfield County, Virginia

By | Informational Articles and News

Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

On January 31, 2018 the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) in a horse in central Virginia. A horse exhibiting neurological signs and a fever is housed in a horse-boarding stable in Chesterfield County that has been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs, and VDACS will be working with the stable’s owner to determine if any exposed horses have left the premises. For more information go to:

https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Documents/DiseaseFactsheetEHM.pdf

and

https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Guidelines/EHV1_4_Final.pdf

EHV-1 in Culpepper, VA

By | Informational Articles and News

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.

 

For more info go to:

http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml

and

https://aaep.org/sites/default/files/Documents/DiseaseFactsheetEHM.pdf

Critical Information Regarding the Horse Protection Act

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Critical Information Regarding the Horse Protection Act

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing amendments to the horse protection regulations section of the Horse Protection Act. The proposed changes can be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/newsroom/news/SA_By_Date/newsroom-2016/SA-07/hpa-changes . 

The Horse Protection Act covers all breeds, although violations have typically been associated with Tennessee Walking Horses and Racking Horses. The proposed changes are being evaluated by the VHC for impacts to Virginia horsemen and the horse industry in Virginia.

The Significant Changes and Impacts Identified Thus Far Include:

  • APHIS would assume responsibility for training, screening and licensing horse inspectors.  The new cadre of inspectors would be veterinarians and veterinary technicians… (emphasis added)
  • APHIS would ban the use of all action devices, pads, and foreign substances at horse shows, exhibitions, sales, and auctions, for Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses or related breeds (emphasis added)
  • Additional costs to horse shows for additional inspectors, a farrier, and record keeping
  • An “Identification Card” will be required for all horses presented for inspection   

     

    Please Click Here for More Information!

FIFTH AND SIXTH CASES OF EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN VIRGINIA HORSES THIS YEAR

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS

Contact: Elaine Lidholm, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

Contact:  Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686

 

FIFTH AND SIXTH CASES OF EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN VIRGINIA HORSES THIS YEAR

 

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the fifth and sixth cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in horses this year. Both horses were from Suffolk, a male Paint and an Arabian filly. Both horses were euthanized. Neither had up-to-date vaccinations.

In the Tidewater area, veterinarians usually recommend a six-month vaccination interval because mosquitoes are present almost all year long, from early spring to late fall. Virginia had four earlier cases of EEE this year, two others from Suffolk, one from Chesapeake and one from Prince George County.

EEE is a mosquito-borne illness that causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is also called “sleeping sickness.” Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to ten days for signs of the disease to appear.

“One of the reasons most veterinarians recommend a six-month vaccination schedule in Tidewater Virginia is because of the prevalence of mosquitos in the area,” said Dr. Charles Broaddus, State Veterinarian. “For the vaccine to be effective, it must be handled and administered properly and be given at least two weeks before the horse is exposed to the virus. Additionally, to stimulate full immunity, horses must be vaccinated twice, about 30 days apart, the first year of vaccination. The vaccines are effective for six to 12 months, so horses should be revaccinated at least annually. In addition to vaccination, horse owners should avoid mosquito infested areas and take measures to reduce the local mosquito population to minimize the chances of mosquitos biting people and their horses.

Last year, Virginia had three reported cases of EEE, one from Suffolk and two from Chesapeake. The disease has a high mortality rate, so prevention is a key part of equine health. Vaccination and mosquito control/avoidance are the central elements of prevention. Available vaccines are generally effective in drastically reducing the incidence of both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) in horses, and vaccinated horses that contract the virus are much more likely to survive than unvaccinated animals.

For more information, horse owners should contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601 or consult their local veterinarian.

 

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

Third Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a Virginia Horse This Year

By | Informational Articles and News

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the third case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a Virginia horse this year. The horse, a mare from Chesapeake, contracted the disease one day and died the next. Vaccination history is unknown. All three horses have been from the Tidewater area.

 

Click here for more information or contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601.

 

 

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

SECOND CASE OF EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN A VIRGINIA HORSE THIS YEAR

By | Informational Articles and News

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, www.vdacs.virginia.gov

FOR RELEASE:  July 12, 2016

Contact:  Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686

 

SECOND CASE OF EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN A VIRGINIA HORSE THIS YEAR

~ Disease has a 80 to 90 percent mortality so prevention is key ~

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) today announced the second case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a Virginia horse this year. The horse, a thoroughbred, was from Suffolk. The horse had been vaccinated and is recovering. Without vaccination the mortality rate is 80 to 90 percent.

VDACS received confirmation of the diagnosis from the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa on July 8. Virginia also has had one other case of EEE this year, also from Suffolk. In this part of the state veterinarians usually recommend a six-month vaccination interval.

“One of the reasons most veterinarians recommend a six-month vaccination schedule in Tidewater Virginia is because of the prevalence of mosquitos in the area,” said Dr. Charles Broaddus, State Veterinarian. He explained that EEE, a mosquito-borne illness, causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord and is also called “sleeping sickness.” Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear.

Last year Virginia had three reported cases of EEE, one from Suffolk and two from Chesapeake. The disease has a high mortality rate, so prevention is a key part of equine health. Vaccination and mosquito control/ avoidance are the central elements of prevention. Available vaccines are generally effective in drastically reducing the incidence of both EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) in horses.

For the vaccine to be effective it must be handled and administered properly and be given at least two weeks before the horse is exposed to the virus. Additionally, to stimulate full immunity, horses must be vaccinated twice, about 30 days apart, the first year of vaccination. The vaccines are effective for six to 12 months, so horses should be revaccinated at least annually. In addition to vaccination, horse owners should avoid mosquito infested areas and take measures to reduce the local mosquito population to minimize the chances of mosquitos biting people and their horses.

For more information, horse owners should contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601 or consult their local veterinarian.

 

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686

FIRST CASE OF EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN A HORSE FOR 2016

By | Informational Articles and News

 

OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686, www.vdacs.virginia.gov
FOR RELEASE:  June 30, 2016
Contact:  Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686

 

FIRST CASE OF EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS IN A HORSE FOR 2016

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) has confirmed the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a Virginia horse this year. The horse, from Suffolk, was a Saddlebred mare. She exhibited symptoms on June 22 and was euthanized June 23. Her vaccination record is unknown.

EEE causes inflammation or swelling of the brain and spinal cord. The disease is also called “sleeping sickness.” Symptoms include impaired vision, aimless wandering, head pressing, circling, inability to swallow, irregular staggering gait, paralysis, convulsions and death. Once a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito, it may take three to 10 days for signs of the disease to appear.

Last year Virginia had three reported cases of EEE, one from Suffolk and two from Chesapeake. The disease has a mortality rate of 80 to 90 percent, so prevention is a key part of equine health. Vaccination and mosquito control and avoidance are the central elements of prevention.

In a press release dated March 22, 2016, VDACS encouraged horse owners to work with their veterinarians to plan a vaccination schedule that would protect their horses from EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV). Available vaccines are generally effective in drastically reducing the incidence of both EEE and WNV in horses. For the vaccine to be effective it must be handled and administered properly and be given at least two weeks before the horse is exposed to the virus. Additionally, to stimulate full immunity, horses must be vaccinated twice, about 30 days apart, the first year of vaccination. The vaccines are effective for six to 12 months, so horses should be revaccinated at least annually. In an area where the disease occurs frequently, such as southeast and Tidewater Virginia, most veterinarians recommend vaccination every six months.

In addition to vaccination, it is a good idea to avoid mosquito infested areas and to take measures to reduce the local mosquito population to minimize the chances of mosquitos biting horses or humans. A horse cannot transmit EEE to a person, but the presence of infected mosquitoes in an area poses a risk to both species. Wearing protective clothing, destroying standing water breeding sites and using mosquito repellents are effective strategies for mosquito control.

For more information, please contact VDACS’ Office of the State Veterinarian at 804.692.0601 or consult your local veterinarian.

 

Elaine J. Lidholm
Director of Communications
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor Street
Richmond VA 23219
804.786.7686