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MB Article - Equine Herpes Virus Confirmed in Florida
The Georgia Department of Agriculture wants equestrians to be aware of the
recent cancellation of two large horse shows in Florida.  According to The
Horse Magazine, The American Grand Prix Association Championship and the
Christmas Festival Horse Show scheduled for December in Wellington,
Florida were canceled due to an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) 1 in
the immediate area.  Equine Herpes Virus is the agent for the disease,
Equine Rhinopneumonitis, which has various clinical signs which may
include fever, respiratory discharge, and/or abortion and rarely,
neurological symptoms.
As of December 26, Florida agriculture officials have reported nine
laboratory confirmed EHV- type 1 cases resulting in quarantine of ten
affected premises.  Five deaths have been attributed to EHV in Florida's
current outbreak.  Nine cases had neurological symptoms.  Horses from
suspected stables in Florida are being monitored for fever and other
clinical signs until state animal health authorities have determined the
virus is under control.  The virus can usually be detected by a veterinary
diagnostic laboratory through simple sample collections. For Florida
updates see the Florida Department of Agriculture Web-site:
http://www.flanimalindustry.com/.
Equine Herpes Virus can cause a serious respiratory disease commonly known
as Rhinopneumonitis that spreads through the air but generally requires
direct or close contact between horses.  Rhinopneumonitis is present
throughout the country.  Horses with clinical signs should be isolated at
least 40 feet or more from other horses.  Sick horses should be examined
by a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.
There are many vaccines available against EHV although none are specific
for the neurological form of the disease.  Vaccination offers protection
against the Rhinopneumonitis, but is not recommended on premises where an
outbreak or recent exposure is suspected.  Horse owners should discuss
with their veterinarian whether vaccination is appropriate for their
animals, the types of vaccines available, and the frequency of recommended
vaccination. Supportive care is the treatment of choice for
Rhinopneumonitis which, in the case of the neurological form, is usually
disappointing.
In order to reduce exposure to all equine diseases, new additions to a
facility should be isolated for four weeks to reduce disease transmission
to other horses.  During isolation or a disease outbreak, biosecurity
measures including disinfectant foot baths, hand washing, and appropriate
isolation is recommended.
Laboratory confirmed cases of Equine Herpes Virus (Equine Rhinopneumonitis
Type 1 and 4) are required to be reported to the Georgia Department of
Agriculture (404) 656-3667 or 1-800-282-5852 or the USDA Area Veterinarian
in Charge at (770) 922-7860.   See the Georgia Department of Agriculture
Web-site for more information on EHV: www.agr.georgia.gov.



Billy Moss
Area Livestock Teacher
North Region FFA
204 Four Towers - UGA
Athens, GA  30602
Ph: 706-542-9775
F: 706-542-9602
"The Georgia 4-H and FFA youth livestock program
provides opportunites to develop life skills and
enhance knowledge in an ethical manner."