State Recommends Canceling Equine Events This Weekend Due To Horse Herpes

Update (3/26/19): NDA reported today hat the quarantinesmare expected to be lifted this week.

The Nevada Department of Agriculture recommended this week that all Nevada horse events be canceled to due a slow-spreading outbreak of equine herpes (EHV-1). Confirmed cases of EHV-1 were found last week in Clark County, and the state said that all horse-related events statewide should be canceled this coming weekend.

“I have issued this quarantine to help prevent the spread of disease during equine event season in Nevada and surrounding states,” said State Veterinarian Dr. JJ Goicoechea. “Equine Herpes Virus-1 can cause respiratory disease in young horses, abortions in pregnant mares and neurologic disease in older horses.”

The Reno-Sparks area remains unaffected by the virus.

“At this time, we are not aware of equine events in [and] around Reno/Sparks within the next week, but if there are smaller events we are still recommending they be canceled or postponed, as has been done with most large events in southern Nevada,” Goicoechea said. “There are events scheduled in northern Nevada at the end of March and early April, so if horse owners stay home for the next two weeks, we are hopeful the impacts of EHV-1 to the remainder of horse event season will be minimal.

“We are continuing to monitor the situation and will make weekly recommendations as needed.”

From NDA:

Monitor horses, practice biosecurity

“I urge all horse owners to monitor their horses closely, taking temperatures twice daily and seeking veterinarian care for any fevers over 102 degrees,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “It is especially important to practice biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading disease.”

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Biosecurity means doing everything possible to reduce the chances of an infectious disease being transferred by people, animals, equipment or vehicles. EHV-1 and other diseases can be easily transferred on boots, coats, gloves, and equipment. Some basic practices include:

  • Never share equipment between horses, and always wear clean clothes when going from ill horses to others.
  • Always start chores at healthy horses, and end with sick or recovering (within 30 days) horses.
  • Avoid common areas such as hitching rails, wash racks, etc. during an outbreak.

More information: https://aaep.org/horsehealth/faq-equine-herpesvirus-ehv

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