Update on Monday February 9: The VDACS reports that one of its veterinarians visited the quarantined boarding farm again this morning to evaluate the situation. The report said, “Even though the index horse continues to drag his rear feet when walking, he is afebrile and is able to gallop. No other horses on the premises have been febrile (fever of 101.5° F) or neurologic.”
On Thursday, February 5, 2015, Virginia state authorities were notified of a positive result for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) on a horse displaying neurologic signs in western Albemarle County, northwest of Charlottesville.
The official announcement from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) advises horse owners: “The affected horse is located at a boarding stable with 14 other horses at the facility. VDACS contactedhe the stable manager and placed the facility under quarantine – no horses are allowed to exit or enter the premises until the quarantine is released.
“The affected horse is a 14-year-old gelding that showed symptoms on Saturday, January 31, became recumbent on Sunday, February 1, but is now stable. Samples were taken by a private veterinarian and the result was reported to VDACS February 5.
“An epidemiologic investigation is underway; initial findings indicate that only one exposed horse from the facility has left the premises within the last 14 days, and that horse went out of state.
“VDACS will post updates on the situation here as needed, as well as on its Facebook page and on Twitter.”
Virginia is both a state with a dense population of horses and a record of experience in dealing with equine herpes virus outbreaks, including state-managed quarantines in 1998, 2002, 2007 and as recently as April 2014.