The State of Oklahoma is home to countless horse owners and many large national equine events. This new case and the three others are experiencing mild respiratory signs/fever and are all now recovered. This has included Equine Influenza (EI), but also Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) and Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA). Dr. Probable cases in two Kent yards were reported around the same date. Equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy is another name for the neurologic disease associated with equine herpesvirus infections, according to the USDA. As with all health alerts, if you are unsure or have questions, be sure to contact your veterinarian.
– EHV 1 or Equine Herpes Virus is a long existing viral infection that, when an outbreak occurs is very contagious and easily spread. – Spread by a variety of means: Airborn, close contact, via handler’s clothing, shared stalls/feed/grounds – It it not known to infect humans – It can cause multiple forms of disease in horses (4 types) but respiratory is the most common – Symptoms: High Fever, Lethargy, Runny Nose (clear), Difficulty Standing, Neurological Effects – Many horses develop respiratory symptoms and eventually recover – When the disease crossed into the central nervous system the results are disastrous and deadly – There is no known vaccine against EHV-1 and only supportive care treatment for those infected – Current recommendation is to keep horses home, move only in emergency and avoid transport from one facility to another – If you have been to a barn today DO NOT go to another as you may transmit the virus on your person. The bottom line here is that this disease is a rapid spread and rapid fizzle virus with a high morbidity and mortality rate. Evaluate your plans carefully for where and when you are traveling and working with your horse.