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State vets say up to 5 deaths from EHV

May 19, 2011


Horses at a cutting event in California may have been exposed to Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) after horses infected at the "ground zero" show in Ogden became ill after arriving in Bakersfield.

Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout

Death toll

As at 25.6.2011

New Mexico
About EHV

The trail of the virus was revealed after a conference call between US animal health officials last night, which revealed that there were thought to be between three and five fatalities so far.

"At this time, there are a limited number of confirmed cases of EHM (Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy) in horses that participated in the (California) event or were at the hosting facility during the event," Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout said.

"There have been 'suspected', 'presumed' or 'probable' cases of EHM reported from multiple western states. The horses involved had been at the hosting facility or have been exposed to horses that had been at the facility. As of last night, the majority of those cases remained unconfirmed."

The exact number of cases and deaths from EHV is still unclear, with reports of horses being euthanized after presenting with neurological abnormalities that were not tested for EHV before euthanasia and subsequent disposal.

Evidence suggests the potentially deadly infection spread from horses who were at the National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championship in Ogden, Utah, from April 30 to May 8.

Dr Stout said the NCHA has provided a listing of potentially exposed horses to investigators who are continuing to determine each animal's disease status.

"The NCHA has reportedly cancelled their sanctioned events scheduled through this weekend. My understanding is the association will make a determination later this week whether to continue cancelling events into next week," Dr Stout said.

The Kentucky State Veterinary office said there was no evidence of any horses from Kentucky attending the Ogden show, nor did it have any reason to believe horses participating in the Bakersfield event had Kentucky ties.

As a result the state's health requirements remain unchanged.

A report from the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service on the outbreak is expected by the end of the week.



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