Non-neuropathogenic form of EHV-1

Maryland officials confirm a horse originating from an Anne Arundel boarding stable was euthanized due to the equine herpes virus (EHV-1).

Maryland’s Department of Agriculture (MDA) states the horse’s tests returned positive for the non-neuropathogenic form of EHV-1 on Tuesday, April 4.

A veterinarian at Marion DuPont Scott Equine Health Center in Leesburg, VA euthanized the horse on April 2. The animal suffered from severe neurologic symptoms.

The state placed the boarding stable under a state-mandated hold for 21-days. Jason Schellhardt MDA spokesman tells us a hold is different from a quarantine. “Quarantine implies that there is a human implication [where a] hold order is used to describe animal issues.”

Schellhardt said he is unable to disclose the farm’s business name. The stable owner has been directed to contact boarders, horseback riding students, and implement biosecurity measures.

Inspectors are performing additional epidemiological and infectious disease testing.

EHV-1 is highly contagious and typically has an incubation period of 2 to 10 days. Clinical signs include fever, nasal discharge, depression, cough, lack of appetite, and potentially enlarged lymph nodes.

Veterinarians recommend vaccinating against EHV-1 to help prevent the virus. No current vaccine prevents the neurological manifestation of the infection.

Experts recommend limiting horse contact between horses, humans, equipment, and avoiding communal water sources at horse shows and other horse facilities.

New Jersey is reporting its first case of neurologic EHV-1 for the year. It is also known as equine herpes myeloencephalopathy.