Florida Department Of Agriculture And Consumer Services
Continues Investigation Into Horse Virus OutbreakTALLAHASSEE
–Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles Bronson says the
department’s Division of Animal Industry is continuing the investigation into
the presence of Equine Herpesvirus – type 1 (EHV-1) in several areas of the
state including Wellington, Jupiter and the Ocala, Florida area. No
cases of the disease have been detected in Texas. EHV-1 can be a serious
disease of horses and the virus can spread through the air from the respiratory
route of affected horses. Transmission can also occur through contaminated
equipment, clothing and hands.
So far, seven horses have tested positive
for the virus through lab tests. All confirmed cases are under quarantine.
The Division of Animal Industry in Florida is working closely with
veterinarians and equine facilities in the impacted locations to monitor the
animals and assist with testing.
Owners with sick horses should
contact their private veterinarian to examine and treat their horses.
Veterinarians suspecting EHV-1 with neurological signs are advised to contact
state officials and follow protocols for collecting and submitting appropriate
samples for laboratory diagnosis.
are the Clinical Signs of EHV-1:
Respiratory signs may be
minimal and of short duration.
Increased rectal temperature may be the
only clinical sign
Horses can have two fever spikes
rise in rectal temperature is usually mild-101.5 to 102.5°F
initial temperature rise, which may be missed, the horse can either be clinical
normal, develop respiratory signs of nasal discharge, increased temperature
(> 102.5), minimal coughing, can abort if pregnant, or, in a small number
of cases develop neurological signs.
Horses become ataxic (incoordination), inability to empty bladder, and weakness
of the tail. Some horses will become completely paralyzed; the prognosis
for these horses is poor. In a small number of cases, horses can show
abnormal mentation and develop cranial nerve signs. Most horses become
mildly to moderately neurologic and stabilize rapidly. The neurologic
signs can persist but most horses are normal by 3 to 6 months after onset of
Abortion: pregnant horses can experience spontaneous
abortion between 7 days and several months after exposure. The mare will
exhibit limited initial signs.