Update on Equine Herpesvirus Case in Colorado
Horse owners may be staying home for the beginning of the horse show season. Similar to a year ago, the deadly equine herpes virus is making a come back.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is investigating a confirmed case of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1). A quarantine has been placed on a Douglas County premises. Denver TV station Fox 31 News is reporting a case of EHV-1 was reported southeast of Denver near the town of Franktown, where officials where forced to euthanize a horse last Friday. On Monday afternoon, CDA confirmed the infected horse was imported by a private owner from Iowa through a transport company and twas euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the disease.
There are three other facilities in Colorado that received horses from the same transport company. Those horses are isolated and are being closely monitored for any clinical signs of EHV.
Unlike the EHV-1 outbreak in 2011, this case is not associated with any equine show or event. To date, no other horses have become ill with similar signs. With the exception of the index and direct contact horses' premises the state veterinarian is not recommending movement or event restrictions.
EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. The virus can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.
Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.
Officials are quick to say that there has only been one confirmed case so far, but that they are monitoring any horses that may have come in contract with the virus.
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