The Maryland Department of Agriculture placed a hold order on private farm in Montgomery County where one horse tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) on Friday, September 21. The gelding was being treated as an outpatient at Spurlock Equine Associates in Virginia before returning to its Maryland home that day. The gelding has since been isolated from all horses on the farm and is undergoing treatment.

Dr. Michael Radebaugh of MDA told The Equiery this morning that out of the 18 horses that are stabled at the Montgomery County farm, only the one horse has tested positive. There are three barns on the property and the other four horses that were exposed to the positive horse are quarantined in their own barn with temperatures being taken and logged with MDA twice a day. “The other horses on the property are in barns that are more than 30 feet away,” Dr. Radebaugh stated. “They too can not leave the property and no new horses can come onto the property either.”

In accordance with EHV-1 protocols set at the national level, the hold order will last 21 days after the last horse has tested positive. Dr. Radebaugh and his team have already started notifying other barns where the positive horse had recently traveled. “He had been stabled at another farm in Virginia recently and that farm owner has placed her facility on a voluntary quarantine and is monitoring their horses,” Dr. Radebaugh said.

News of this case has been circulating the internet as of late Friday (September 21) evening, including an outbreak notice from the Equine Disease Communication Center that contain a few inaccuracies that we have been informed will be corrected shortly. MDA will be issuing its own official statement after a site visit and full evaluation this week.

The Equiery will continue to monitor the situation and report updates as they become available from MDA.