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EHV-1: States update, federal overview today?

May 27, 2011


A handful of states have updated their EHV-1 situation, with no dramatic shifts reported.

Death toll

As at 25.6.2011

New Mexico
About EHV

Infected and secondarily exposed horse are all under hold or quarantine orders across affected western states.

The Texas Animal Health Commission indicated earlier this week that a US Department of Agriculture update is expected on Thursday afternoon.

Our state by state wrap of Equine Herpesvirus-1 across western states, and also Alberta and British Columbia in Canada, has been updated by whatever official information we could find today. The death toll currently stands at 10.

Some states have not updated their position online for some days, but some have been providing updates daily.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of the US Department of Agriculture is collating all state information and is publishing it when the data is verified. The last update was May 19. With some states not providing daily updates, some of the following information will be out of date.

The more up-to-date information below is indicated as such.

Readers are welcome to email us to alert us to any official updates that advance the information below.

Please note that this information is based on original APHIS data, adjusted with official data from state agriculture departments, state livestock boards or state veterinarians.

EHV-1 is capable of causing severe neurological symptoms in horses, which can prove fatal. However, not all horses that are infected will show neurological signs. Those that do have what is known as Equine Herpes Virus Myeloencephalopathy, or EHM.

Horses with severe neurological signs are often unable to stand and are euthanized as a consequence.

Horses in the data below, described as secondarily exposed, are those that came into contact with horses after they attended the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah from April 29 to May 8.

Authorities continue to warn that the strain at the centre of the outbreak is highly contagious and can prove fatal to horses.

They urge horse owners in affected states to avoid all non-essential horse movements, at least until the extent of the outbreak is clearer.

The following information will be updated as and when fresh information comes to hand.


Twenty-one horses were exposed at the Ogden, Utah, cutting horse event at the centre of the outbreak. Those horses returned home, and 67 horses are considered secondarily exposed. There are four suspected cases of EHV-1, three suspected cases of EHM and one confirmed case. One has been euthanized.


In its Tuesday update, the California Department of Food and Agriculture reported no new cases for the day. In all, 54 horses were exposed at the Ogden event. In all, 18 horses across 12 counties have been confirmed with EHV-1. This is an increase of one on yesterday. The cases by county are Amador (1), Glenn (2), Kern (2), Los Angeles (1), Marin (1), Napa (1), Placer (3), Plumas (1), Sacramento (1 - the latest case), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (3) and Ventura (1). Sixteen of the confirmed positive EHV-1 cases participated in the Ogden event. Two of the confirmed positive cases participated only in the Kern County cutting horse event in Bakersfield on May 13, held after the Ogden event. In Bakersfield, one horse has been euthanized after showing neurological signs.

Three confirmed positive EHM horses are being treated at the University of California Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis. The Department of Food and Agriculture described all 18 horses as confirmed for EHM, but said only seven positive horses had displayed neurological signs. Ten cases have shown only fevers, while one horse displayed no clinical signs.

All positive confirmed EHM cases are under a State Quarantine.

The department said its disease reports continue to be limited to horses at the two events.


Thirty exposed from Ogden, and 68 considered secondarily exposed. Latest figures from the state agriculture department show 22 suspected EHV-1 cases, and nine confirmed. There are two cases of EHM, with two horses dead or euthanized. Twelve quarantine and hold orders have been issued in eight counties - Bent, Boulder, Garfield, Gunnison, Larimer, Mesa, Morgan and Weld. State veterinarian Keith Roehr says: "This disease can have tremendous affects on the horse community and I encourage horse owners to be vigilant about the disease prevention methods they use within their premises."

He continued: "We are considering all of our options for protecting Colorado's horse industry. At this point, we do not believe it's necessary to stop horses from entering the state but we need to be able to know where those horses are coming from and where they are going; traceback is a vital part of disease control."


No horses in the state are confirmed or suspected of having EHV-1 from the Ogden outbreak. However, in what state animal health authorities are describing as a separate incident, one farm in Alachua County is under state quarantine and two horses have been euthanized due to complications of EHV-1 infection. One case is confirmed, the other suspected. Authorities believe the index case occurred on the quarantined farm due to re-emergence of a latent infection and that no exposure has occurred off the affected premises.


Thirty-six horses potentially exposed, and 14 at risk because they were exposed to the horses returning from Utah. There are 13 suspected cases of EHV-1, but no confirmed cases. There are three suspected cases of EHM and one confirmed, with two horses dead or euthanized. No confirmed or suspected cases were added at the weekend. This information is now likely to be out of date.


Just one horse is known to have been exposed at the Illinois event, but nine horses were secondarily exposed. No evidence of any cases, according to APHIS.


Five horses exposed at Ogden, and 53 exposed secondarily. No suspected cases of either EHV-1 or EHM.


Nineteen horses attended the Utah event, but authorities do not believe any horses have been secondarily exposed. No suspected or confirmed cases.


In a May 24 update, the Missouri Department of Agriculture had 30 horses on a Boone County property under close observation and under a hold order, as three horses had returned to the property from the Ogden event. As of the above date, there had been no confirmed or suspected cases. The farm in question has been under a hold order since May 16.


Seventeen horses at Ogden, and one secondarily exposed. Good news for the state. One horse considered suspect for the disease returned negative test results. From May 22 to May 26, no cases have been reported or are suspected. There are no known or suspected cases in the state as of May 26.


Seven horses at Ogden. No data on whether any other horses have suffered secondary exposure. No suspected or confirmed cases, but five properties are under quarantine as a precaution.


Seven horses attended at Ogden, with eight horses secondarily exposed on return home. As of May 25 - the state's latest update - there were three confirmed cases. The first confirmed case of EHV-1 was in Elko County. The horse was said to be recovering, having suffered what the Nevada Department of Agriculture described as a mild form of the disease. The other cases are in Washoe County. They were exposed to two horses that attended the Ogden event. The event horses did not develop disease, however their stablemates exhibited neurological signs.

New Mexico

APHIS figures indicate nine horses exposed at Ogden. No information on potential secondary exposure of horses. In a May 25 update, state veterinarian Dave Fly said three premises were currently under quarantine as a result of what he called active cases of EHV-1. "All three premises have had cases of the neurological form of EHV-1, also known as Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy," he said. "One horse has died, two horses are clinically ill and one horse has recovered."

The last case in New Mexico was reported on May 20. All other horses on these quarantined premises are under observation and are being monitored by their farm veterinarians.


Just one horse attended the Ogden event, but 32 have since been secondarily exposed. There is one suspected cases of EHM. The horse is showing mild neurological signs but is improving. Other horses on the property remain healthy and the property has been placed under movement restrictions.


Nineteen horses attended at Ogden, and 140 have been secondarily exposed. Four cases of EHV-1 have been confirmed. One is in Umatilla County, one in Clackamas County, the other in Deschutes County. Another horse in Clackamas County, who also attended the Ogden show, was euthanised over the weekend after developing neurologic signs, state veterinarian Dr Don Hansen has advised.

Test results from the horse were positive for EHM. This is the fourth confirmed case of EHV-1/EHM and the first EHM fatality in Oregon. This is not the same horse as the first reported case, which was also a horse from Clackamas County.

The state's Animal Health and Identification Division said all positive horses were directly linked to the Ogden event.

All horses either from the Ogden event or secondarily exposed are under quarantine in their stables.

EHM is now a reportable disease, requiring that the state veterinarian be advised.

South Dakota

Four horses at Ogden. Laboratory analysis has confirmed one case of EHV-1 in a horse in Gregory County, according to state veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven. The horse was not taken to the Ogden event, he said. The affected horse and others on the same property are under quarantine.


Twenty-five horses went to Ogden, and 336 horses were considered to have been exposed secondarily. In its Tuesday update, the Texas Animal Health Commission said it had no confirmed or suspected cases of the neurological form of EHV-1 to report for the day. Just one horse in the state was confirmed with the neurological form of the disease. This animal was taken for treatment at a West Texas vet clinic and was subsequently returned home, where it is under quarantine at its premises of origin. The state had a single "suspect" case, reported last Thursday. The horse tested negative for EHV-1, but was euthanized because of the severity of its symptoms caused by an unrelated illness. The commission said it continued to evaluate other unrelated horses with clinical signs. No additional cases were confirmed on Monday, either.

The commission said it had started releasing primary traced horses from the Ogden event and horses secondarily exposed to them. Currently, 16 known horses in Texas that attended at Ogden remain under movement restrictions, as do 185 horses considered secondarily exposed.


The state's update at 5pm on Tuesday revealed no new or suspected cases in the state for the date. Seven confirmed cases and eight suspected cases on a total of four premises, according to the latest information from state veterinarian Bruce King. The four premises have been quarantined. They are in Box Elder, Davis, Kane and Utah counties. An earlier report that a property in Weber County was quarantined was incorrect, King said. That property was in fact in Davis County. Two horses have been euthanized after going down and being unable to return to their feet. At least five of the confirmed cases are in Utah County, at one property. This updates formal APHIS figures, which indicated two of these cases were suspected, Monday had also proved to be a good day, with all samples tested at the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Logan being negative. Quarantines are in place for all horses either confirmed or suspected of having the disease.


Thirty-four horses went to Ogden. The latest information indicates seven horses have tested positive for EHV-1. The first case, at Washington State University's veterinary teaching hospital, has since been discharged.

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University confirmed one more horse with EHV-1 on May 25. This brings the total number of horses now under isolation and care for the neurologic form of the viral disease at the university's veterinary hospital to three.

Confirmation of the third case came Wednesday, May 25, when nasal swabs administered to the horse, which is an inpatient in the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, tested positive. The horse had been running a fever, but had not tested positive for the disease until today. Veterinarians said the case fits a common pattern for the development of the disease.

The total number of horses confirmed to have EHV-1 in Washington state now stands at seven, with no deaths. The ailing horses are located in Spokane, Thurston, Chelan and Asotin counties with one horse in each. Whitman County now has three, according to the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

This new confirmation at WSU means the restrictions for new, non-emergency horse or camelid patients coming to WSU's Veterinary Teaching Hospital will be in place for a minimum of 21 more days.

Emergency services are still available but owners must call ahead first to ensure the hospital can make special accommodations to protect any incoming animals. The phone number is 509-335-7073.

Washington State Veterinarian Dr Leonard Eldridge has suspended the state's exemption for horses entering Washington from Oregon or Idaho for up to four days. All equines entering the state must now require a current health certificate showing a current temperature reading, or enter using a six month passport.


Seventeen horses went to Ogden, with 34 horses considered secondarily exposed. There is one suspected case of EHV-1.



Four confirmed cases in all.

There is a confirmed neurologic case of EHV-1 in an Alberta horse that showed neurologic signs on May 1, 2011 and was isolated at that time. This horse did not attend the cutting horse show in Ogden that has been associated with the US outbreak of the disease. However, it had attended cutting horse events in Alberta. This horse has been under veterinary care and is recovering well. The origin of the source of contact for this horse remains unknown.

There is a second confirmed case of EHV-1 in another Alberta horse that first developed signs of fever and respiratory disease on May 14, 2011. There are no neurologic signs in this horse. This horse had contact with horses and tack that had previous contact with horses at the Ogden show. This horse is under treatment and isolation at this time.

There is a third confirmed case in an Alberta horse that first developed signs of fever and respiratory disease on May 16, 2011. Again, there are no neurologic signs in this horse. This horse travelled to the show in Ogden and returned to Canada on May 15, 2011. This horse is under treatment and isolation at this time.

The fourth confirmed case showed respiratory signs.

Veterinarians in Alberta and other Western provinces are holding regular conference calls to update the situation.

British Columbia

Three suspected cases were reported some days ago, with no horses reported to be exposed secondarily. These suspected cases, all on the same farm, were not confirmed by laboratory testing, but through clinical diagnosis. The three horses that returned from the Ogden show developed neurological disease and were being treated intensively as if they had the neurological form of EHV-1. Strict biosecurity procedures were put in place to prevent spread of this disease from the farm. No updates on this situation have been found.



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