Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Texas Animal Health Commission to Close the Book on Equine Herpesvirus Friday

Horseback Magazine

June 9, 2011
AUSTIN – The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has no new developments to report regarding the one confirmed “isolated” case of the neurologic form of EHV-1 in Ector County or the 26 horses in Texas that attended the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Western National Championships event held in Ogden, Utah, April 30-May 8. Barring unforeseen circumstances, movement restrictions remaining on the last 9 of the 26 horses are expected to be lifted, Friday, June 10.

Final Texas stats:
2 “confirmed cases”
. Horse from New Mexico that attended the cutting event that sought treatment at a Texas vet clinic (horse returned to premises of origin and is recovering)
. Quarter Horse racehorse stabled in Ector County (unrelated to Utah event)

TAHC officials advise Texas equine owners that they should feel free to participate in horse shows, rodeos, and other equine related events as “confirmed” and “suspect” cases of the neurological form of EHV-1 appear to have been be contained.
“Sufficient time has passed for most horses that may have been exposed to the virus traced to the cutting event held in Ogden, Utah, last month. Though none showed symptoms of the disease, the few horses in Texas that tested positive will remain quarantined on their premises and monitored closely until the virus shedding period has passed,” Dr. Dee Ellis, State Veterinarian, said.
TAHC officials have maintained good communication with owners of the affected horses and their stablemates. The horses have been isolated and monitored closely the past few weeks by their owners and their veterinarians.

TAHC emphasizes the continued need for horse owners to practice good biosecurity. Herpes viruses are common in horse populations just as they are with humans. As a general rule of thumb, all horse owners should always be vigilant in practicing good biosecurity and hygiene to minimize the threat of disease.

Tips to help prevent the spread of EHV-1 include:
. Don’t share equipment among horses. The virus can be spread through objects such as water, feed buckets or bridles.
. Prevent spreading the virus from horse to horse via hands and clothing. People should thoroughly wash hands after handling one horse and before handling another.

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