Horse herpes virus detected in 2 Vegas horses, 1 in Idaho (updated story)
March 19, 2019
Two horses in Clark County are showing clinical signs of Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1), according to a Friday morning, March 29, statement from the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
In addition, a new positive case in Idaho was at a recent barrel racing event in Utah and may have exposed other horses, according to the state.
"Two horses in Clark County are being tested today for EHV-1," NDA Veterinarian JJ Goicoechea said in a statement. "In the meantime, I am recommending, along with my counterparts in Arizona, Idaho and Utah, that horse owners do not travel to barrel racing events in the region."
Dr. Goicoechea and state veterinarians in neighboring states continue to monitor in cooperation with horse event and venue managers. At this time, only barrel racing events, a specific rodeo competition event, are included in the recommendation.
"We may issue more recommendations throughout the day and weekend," Dr. Goicoechea said. "But if you don't have to travel with your horse this weekend, it's best to stay home and protect your horse, as well as the rest of the competing horses in the west."
Below are previous versions of this story:
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UPDATE: 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 26:
On Monday, March 25, the Nevada Department of Agriculture lifted the first horse facility quarantine, as it provided no additional positive cases of Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1), the department announced in a Tuesday, March 26, press release.
The other two quarantines will be lifted later this week, officials said.
"I owe a sincere thanks to the equine community for keeping their horses at home and helping to prevent the spread of this disease," Dr. JJ Goicoechea, NDA state veterinarian, said in a statement. "Horse event season just got underway in Southern Nevada and starts soon in Northern Nevada, and I appreciate everything horse owners did to keep the EHV-1 from spreading."
Dr. Goicoechea continues to recommend best biosecurity practices as event season is underway, and always monitor horses for signs of disease, like fever or runny nose.
"I urge all horse owners to monitor their horses closely, taking temperatures twice daily and seeking veterinarian care for any fevers over 102 degrees," Dr. Goicoechea said. "It is especially important to practice biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading disease."
The original story from March 19 is below:
LAS VEGAS — The state of Nevada is recommending all equine events scheduled for this weekend in the Silver State be canceled due to three horses in Southern Nevada recently testing positive for herpes.
In a Tuesday morning statement from the Nevada Department of Agriculture, State Veterinarian JJ Goicoechea “strongly urges” equine events, especially in Southern Nevada, be shut down in efforts to slow the spread of Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1), which can cause neurologic disease in horses.
"Our recommendation is based on the likelihood of statewide exposure at an event March 8-10 in Fernley, and we are coordinating with event managers to take every precaution to mitigate continued spread," Dr. Goicoechea said in a statement.
On Monday, the state confirmed in a statement that two additional Clark County horse facilities have been quarantined since the first case of EHV-1 in a Southern Nevada horse was confirmed on Friday, March 15.
The facilities have not been identified because the state says there is no public health risk.
According to the state’s initial press release on March 15 that reported the first positive case, horses at the Nevada State Junior/High School Rodeo, which that took place Feb. 22-24 in Pahrump, “may have been exposed.”
The average incubation period for EHV-1 is four to seven days, but some may take up to 14 days. Eight to 12 days after infection first appears, neurological disease may occur.
EHV-1 is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the Nevada Department of Agriculture.
"I urge all horse owners to monitor their horses closely, taking temperatures twice daily and seeking veterinarian care for any fevers over 102 degrees," Dr. Goicoechea said in a statement. "It is especially important to practice biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading disease."