VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
OFFICE OF COMMUNICATIONS, www.vdacs.virginia.gov
Contact: Elaine Lidholm, 804.786.7686
For Release: Monday, Feb. 24, 2020
Virginia Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1
On Friday February 21, the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) 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 Powhatan County. The boarding stable has been placed under quarantine.
No horses had left the property in at least two weeks. 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.
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 www.equinediseasecc.org/biosecurity have more information on best practices for disease prevention in horses and VDACS has more information on EHV-1 at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals-equine-herpes-virus.shtml. Horse owners also may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.
Director of Communications
Va. Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services
102 Governor St.
Richmond VA 23219