The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has released the EHV-1 quarantine that had been in place at Churchill Downs since Nov. 30, according to an alert released by the Equine Disease Communication Center.
There are no quarantines of movement restrictions in place; horses meeting exit requirements are allowed to leave the facility.
The index case first showed clinical signs on Nov. 28, 2022, reported to have had a recurring fever and displaying hind limb ataxia.
There are nine strains of equine herpesvirus on record, and many horses are exposed to some form of EHV with no serious side effects or symptoms. Three strains are considered serious health risks, including EHV-1, which may present with fever and respiratory symptoms and can also carry neurological symptoms and a risk of death. Symptoms of the neurologic form of EHV-1 include fever and nasal discharge, followed by lack of coordination, lethargy, head tilt, and inability to balance or stand. EHV-1 is highly contagious and may be transmitted through contaminated equipment, contact between horses, and on clothing or hands of humans working with sick horses. Veterinarians aren’t sure how long the virus can survive in the environment, or how well it travels through the air. The Paulick Report compiled a list of frequently-asked questions about EHV-1 during an outbreak at Sunland Park five years ago.
Read more at the Equine Disease Communication Center.
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