Tag Archives: Equine Herpes Virus Type 1

Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1) Information Update

Kentucky’s Perspective and Position Updated: March 7, 2013

Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1) is described to be a highly contagious pathogen that is ubiquitous in horse populations throughout the world. Infections in horses can result in a variety of ailments that include respiratory disease, abortions, neonatal deaths and the neurologic disease termed Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM).  Recently, alerts of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy being diagnosed in multiple states have been issued. States having cases of EHM diagnosed in recent months include California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah. Horses of different breeds and representing vastly different disciplines and activity have been affected.

The apparent increased frequency of disease and severity of symptoms being seen has lead Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout to conclude extra precaution needs to be initiated and implemented to help mitigate the associated risk. We are directing Kentucky facility managers and the managers of shows/exhibitions planned to be held in Kentucky to immediately review their biosecurity practices and if needed elevate their biosecurity plan to minimize opportunity of horses having direct or indirect contact with one another. Indirect contact would include common water and feed sources as well as shared equipment and common areas. The goal of a biosecurity plan is to prevent the transmission of infectious agents among individuals. The components of a successful program will include cooperation of management, facility layout, decontamination, and when applicable immunization. Each of these factors directly affects the success or failure of the program. A copy of the American Association of Equine Practitioners biosecurity guidelines and EHV resources can be found at www.aaep.org/ehv_resources.htm. Our office is happy to assist facilities, show management and event veterinarians in evaluating their individual plans and when a need is identified, assist in adapting the plans.

As an additional preventive measure, we encourage horsemen to consult their veterinarians and after evaluating their animal’s vaccination status consider if there is need or benefit to stimulating an immune response by vaccinating against EHV-1. We acknowledge the available vaccines’ labels make no claim to prevent neurologic disease, but based on our experience managing outbreaks of this disease, and in consultation with infectious disease experts and research scientist, we continue to be of the opinion the vaccine does have a meaningful level of efficacy and may aid in reducing the impact of a disease incident.

In response to the identified increased risk, we have and will continue to operate with elevated regulatory surveillance and equine health inspection activity at events in Kentucky. Exhibitors can expedite their passage through our inspection points by having their health documents organized and horses loaded in a manner that will allow visual inspection. In addition to the surveillance and inspection activity, we will be working closely with show managers and veterinarians to insure immediate notification and quick response to any suspected communicable disease.

We continue to monitor these disease events, and will adjust our strategies as warranted and provide updates as changes occur.

E. S. Rusty Ford
Equine Programs Manager
Office of State Veterinarian

Recent Updates to the AAEP EHV Resource Pages

Here is the AAEP EHV Resource page: http://www.aaep.org/ehv_resources.htm (included within this page are resources for veterinarians and horse owners).

We also have an additional EHV FAQ good for horse owners located here: http://www.aaep.org/health_articles_view.php?id=370.

2011 Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) Western States Outbreak – Kentucky Perspective May 20, 2011 Update

The following information is from the Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian, Robert Stout, DVM.  Unfortunately there are a great many rumors and unverified information continues to circulate about the current outbreak of EHV-1.  The information contained in this notice is current and has been verified by the proper veterinary authorities.  The Kentucky Horse Council works closely with the Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian to ensure that all information related to disease outbreaks is factual and correct.

The USDA APHIS, Veterinary Services has provided their initial situation report describing the Western States Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy / Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 outbreak.  The information reported below was provided to USDA by state veterinarians and is believed to be accurate through the close of business on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. It is important to remember the investigations are evolving and data changes rapidly.

There is much rumor and inaccurate information being distributed through social media networks. The Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian encourages individuals to base their decisions on information received from reliable sources and which has undergone a level of scrutiny. The Kentucky Office of the State Veterinarian appreciates the USDA APHIS assisting our industry by compiling and distributing this valuable information.

Continue reading 2011 Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) Western States Outbreak – Kentucky Perspective May 20, 2011 Update