A guarded announcement was made by Wyoming Livestock Board staff veterinarians on Monday, October 21 that neurologic equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) has been reported in two counties in northwestern Wyoming - Teton County and Park County.
In Teton County, eight horses have shown EHV-1 signs. One horse has been put down, and one horse has come up with a positive result. There are a total of eight horses under quarantine in two facilities.
In Park County, two horses have come up with positive EHV-1 tests. There are 36 horses that have had exposure and a total of 38 horses are under quarantine in four facilities.
According to officials, the Teton and Park County cases are not related.
Wyoming State Veterinarian Jim Logan, DVM, acknowledged that the state has had EHV-1 cases in prior years and that in 2011, there was a national outbreak.
This is not a new disease. The risk for EHV-1 is always there because carrier horses cannot be identified. There is not a vaccine that is always effective in preventing the neurologic form of the disease, so the best prevention is good biosecurity.
Humans cannot get this disease. However, EHV-1 is highly contagious to horses. It is transmitted from horse to horse from sneezing or coughing and contact with nasal secretions. The disease can cause a variety of ailments including respiratory problems in young horses, abortion in broodmares, and fever, weakness, paralysis of hind legs and incontinence.
Horse owners must prevent nose to nose contact between horses, avoid all sharing of water and feed buckets, and immediately call in a veterinarian if a horse comes down with fever, respiratory difficulties, and any neurologic symptoms.
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