South Shore Equine Clinic & Diagnostic Center
Equine Veterinary Services South Shore Boston Massachusetts

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Herpes Virus Outbreak (EHV-1) Information

As many of you have heard, there has been a recent outbreak of the neurological form of Rhinovirus (which is a herpes virus) in Florida.  Apparently, a horse shipped to the states from Europe had a fever while under quarantine in the New York quarantine location.  He was determined to be disease free and was then shipped to Florida with a load of horses.   Upon arriving in Florida, a few others became ill.  Two or three died or were euthanized within the week, all being diagnosed with the neurological strain of Rhinovirus.  Since that time, more horses have died or were euthanized due to high fevers and neurologic signs.  Unfortunately, the horses from the original shipment had already spread out in Florida, and the shipping truck had made a return trip to the north.  There are now ten states which have been notified of possibility having an exposed horse shipped within their boundaries.  The New England states, including Massachusetts, are on that list. 

Current recommendations include making sure your horse is kept up to date with a rhino vaccine, at least twice yearly.  If your horse is not quite right, or if you are concerned your horse may have been exposed somewhere, start taking temperatures twice daily.  There is a temperature spike early in the course of the disease.  A nasal swab which tests for the virus DNA can be done (a PCR test), to diagnose the presence of the virus.

The virus has been isolated in one horse located at Fairfield Equine Clinic in Fairfield, Ct.  Strict quarantine measures have been taken to stop any spread of the disease.  Quarantine appears to be only way to stop the spread of the disease at this point.  Please call us if you are concerned your horse is at risk.  Failure to take strict measures puts your horse, as well as other horses at risk.

The following links contain additional information:

Recent News Update from UC Davis
Protective & Disease Control Measures at Your Farm
AAEP Vaccination Guidelines for EHV-1
Disease of the Horse Caused by Equine Herpesvirus Type 1
Equine Herpesvirus Infection from MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
Biosecurity Guidelines
What To Do With a Suspect Premise
Recommendations for Owners & Veterinarians

Please contact our office with ANY questions or concerns 781-585-2611

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