Friday, April 6, 2018

EHV-1 detected in horse at equine facility, quarantine order issued

Dr. Brian Joseph
Washington State Veterinarian

The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) has quarantined a facility in King County after a single laboratory-verified case of equine herpes virus EHV-1, neuropathogenic strain, was detected there.

On April 5, a horse at the Gold Creek Equine Facility in Woodinville tested positive for EHV-1. The horse has been moved to an isolated area on the premises and WSDA has quarantined the facility. Temperatures of the horses at the facility will be taken twice daily.

Gold Creek has cooperated fully with the quarantine order and operators there are working to ensure strict biosecurity measures are in place. WSDA is tracing movements of horses off the premises prior to the quarantine and may issue additional quarantine orders if needed.

Given the highly infectious nature of the virus, WSDA is urging horse owners to follow these recommendations:

  • Watch your horse for signs of possible infection, such as:
    • Fever of 102.5F or higher
    • Discharge from the eyes or nose
    • Respiratory symptoms
    • Swelling of the limbs
    • Spontaneous abortions
    • Neurological signs such as unsteady gait, weakness, urine dripping, lack of tail tone and recumbency.
  • Check your horse’s temperature twice daily, ideally first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Also, check before administering medications as some can lower body temperature.
  • Notify your veterinarian immediately if you detect any of the symptoms above. Your veterinarian may want to take nasal swabs for virus detection or blood samples for evidence of exposure to EHV-1.
More information about testing, vaccines and biosecurity can be found in our previous blog about EHV-1.  This is a developing situation. We will update this blog as we learn more.

4/9/18 UPDATE: 

As a precautionary measure, on April 6 WSDA issued quarantine orders for two additional locations in Snohomish County where horses from Gold Creek had been transported prior to WSDA issuing the initial quarantine. The additional locations include a stable in Snohomish and a private residence in Monroe.

Horses at these additional sites are being monitored by veterinarians, but none have shown any signs of illness. All three sites are cooperating with the quarantine orders and are working to ensure strict biosecurity measures are in place.

4/26/18 UPDATE: 

The quarantine at Gold Creek remains in place although no other horses have tested positive or displayed neurological signs. The quarantine will remain until the infected horse, has had two negative tests for EHV-1 (the horse has had one negative swab since the initial detection and is awaiting a second negative test for confirmation.)

The quarantines on the other two facilities have been lifted as no horses tested positive or displayed symptoms.

5/1/18 UPDATE:

We're happy to update that all quarantines have now been lifted, including the quarantine at Gold Creek Equestrian. The horse that initially tested positive at Gold Creek has subsequently had two negative tests and is expected to make a full recovery. No other horses, at Gold Creek or the other two facilities that were quarantined, have tested positive or showed signs of EHV-1. Many thanks to all of these facilities for their excellent response in keeping this detection contained and protecting animal health!