(TRENTON) – A Warren County premises has been placed under quarantine after a horse tested positive for equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM) caused by equine herpes virus-1 (EHV-1). The 25-year-old quarter horse mare was euthanized November 2, 2017.
Other horses at the home farm that have been exposed to the positive horse are quarantined for at least 21 days. Immediate biosecurity measures are in effect at the home premises. Additionally, all the horses on the quarantined premises will be temperature checked twice daily to confirm the virus is not spreading. A history of recent contact with other horses is being performed to check for any other potentially exposed horses.
EHV-1 spreads quickly from horse to horse, has a high morbidity and can cause a wide range of symptoms, from a complete lack of clinical signs to respiratory problems, especially in young horses, and spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares. Transmission of the virus is mostly via direct contact with infected materials; therefore, tack must not be shared between horses and biosecurity measures must be utilized. While highly infectious, the virus does not persist in the environment and is neutralized by hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and sunlight.
The virus does not affect humans and other domestic animals, except for llamas and alpacas.
If an owner has a horse that is exhibiting neurologic signs or suspects Equine Herpes, they are directed to call their veterinarian immediately. Concerned owners should consult their veterinarian prior to taking any action as the clinical signs of EHM are common to many other diseases. For more information about the disease, visit www.nj.gov/agriculture/divisions/ah/pdf/equine_herpesvirus_brochure_2009.pdf
EHM, like other viral diseases affecting horses’ neurological systems, such as Rabies, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus, must be reported to the state veterinarian within 48 hours on a neurologic disease worksheet that is available at:
The NJDA Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory provides testing for the neurologic form of EHV-1. For more information, visit http://www.jerseyvetlab.nj.gov/