Second New Jersey property quarantined over EHV-1

April 16, 2011

A second horse farm in New Jersey has been quarantined by authorities investigating an outbreak of the neurologic form of equine herpes virus, type one (EHV-1).

The second property is also at Colts Neck. The outbreak has led to the death of one horse and sickened five others.

The disease was discovered by a private veterinarian treating a sick horse at Overbrook Farm. The filly was euthanised by the veterinarian on April 13 after she failed to respond to treatment. Her five barn mates are recovering from their illnesses.

The department's tracing activities at the farm to determine the extent of the outbreak led to today's quarantine of Tourelay Farm. No sick horses have been reported at the farm at this time.

Overbrook Farm was quarantined yesterday, meaning horse movements on and off the property have ceased and only essential farm personnel are allowed access to limit the spread of the virus.

Those personnel must use biosecurity measures, such as disinfectant foot baths, coveralls, disposable gloves, hand washing and disinfectant hand gels, and non-sharing of tack between horses.

The quarantine is expected to last 21 days, unless more horses become ill. All quarantines are based on risk assessment.

The department has been in contact with Colts Neck Township officials to keep them informed of the efforts to contain the virus and protect animals.

The EHV-1 virus spreads quickly from horse to horse and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from a complete lack of clinical signs to respiratory problems, especially in young horses, and spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares.

The neurologic form of EHV-1 can also cause an acute paralytic syndrome, which results in a high mortality.

The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2-10 days. The virus spreads readily through direct contact with infected materials.

The virus does not affect humans and other domestic animals, with the exception of llamas and alpacas.

Concerned owners should consult their veterinarian before taking any action as the clinical signs of infection with the neurological form of EHV-1 are common to many other diseases.

The neurologic form of EHV is a reportable disease in New Jersey.

Overbrook Farm is a thoroughbred breeding operation. It bred 1996 Kentucky Derby winner Grindstone, and the dam of Storm Cat, Terlingua. Tourelay Farm is a riding stable.