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A horse at the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) circuit in Ocala, Fla., was reportedly diagnosed with the neurologic form of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) on Thurs., Feb. 21, according to sources with HITS Horse Shows and the University of Florida’s (UF) School of Veterinary Medicine.
EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses and camelids and is generally passed from horse to horse via aerosol transmission (when affected animals sneeze/cough) and contact with nasal secretions.
The horse is receiving treatment at the UF’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Gainesville and has been in isolation since admission, a university statement said.
Horses stabled in the same show grounds’ tent as the infected horse are currently under quarantine. No other additional cases have been confirmed as of Friday afternoon, a statement by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said.
“Horses are being monitored carefully and any signs of fever treated,” said Lindsay Yandon, HITS’s marketing and social media manager. “Our show manager, Kristen Vale, met this morning with the trainers to discuss proper biosecurity measures, under the direction of our (show) veterinarian.”
Classes at the show have continued and horses not in the affected tent are still being allowed to enter and leave the show grounds at this time, Yandon added.
"We are asking all those in the equine community to practice prudent biosecurity on their farm and to report any suspected cases of EHV-1," a statement from the Florida state veterinarian’s office said. "For reporting, you may call 850/410-0900 Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., and 1-800-342-5869 after hours and weekends."
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Michelle Anderson is the former digital managing editor at The Horse. A lifelong horse owner, Anderson competes in dressage and enjoys trail riding. She's a Washington State University graduate and holds a bachelor's degree in communications with a minor in business administration and extensive coursework in animal sciences. She has worked in equine publishing since 1998. She currently lives with her husband on a small horse property in Central Oregon.
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