by Nanci Stevenson
On October 25 the Kentucky State Veterinarians Office quarantined two barns at Churchill Downs when a horse showed signs of the neurological form of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1). Bio-security measures were immediately put into place and the sick horse was transported to an equine hospital in Lexington, KY. The horse later tested positive for the disease.
By November 7 the quarantine was lifted and all the remaining horses from both barns were released after testing negative two weeks after the initial exposure. The single infected horse remained in isolation in Lexington.
EHV-1 is an airborne virus that is belived to be contagious up to 35-feet. However, not all horses actively shedding the virus will show symptoms. In the past four years there have been a signifi cant number of outbreaks of EHV-1 in Maryland, causing the MD Department of Agriculture to add “equine neurologic syndrome” to the list of infectious diseases that veterinarians are required to report to the State Veterinarian’s Office.