Veterinary Team Managing EHV-1 Outbreak at Badminton

Veterinary experts are managing the EHV-1 outbreak at the site of England’s Badminton Horse Trials.

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The neurologic form of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) has struck the site of a major international equestrian event in England just weeks before the competition is slated to take place. But top veterinary experts are managing the outbreak to ensure the facilities will be disease-free in time for the renowned Badminton Horse Trials in May.

Thirty-three horses were evacuated from the Beaufort Hunt (Badminton) premises following the diagnosis of neurologic EHV-1 in a gelding that began showing clinical signs of disease on March 15, according to a veterinary statement posted on the Badminton Horse Trials website.

All of those horses are currently housed in three isolated lots of stables near the Beaufort Hunt stables in Cotswold (Gloucestershire) but still “sufficiently far away from the Badminton stables that they could not possibly transmit infection to any horses that comes into the stables,” Badminton spokesperson Hugh Thomas told The Horse. Meanwhile the entire Beaufort Hunt site is being thoroughly disinfected, and no horses will be allowed to enter the site until the Badminton Horse Trials begin in six weeks.

Six stablemates of the index case are housed together in one lot separate from the other quarantined horses, according to the statement. Clinical exams and nasal swab testing revealed that some of those six horses were positive for EHV-1, although none showed clinical signs. None of the other horses tested positive for the disease. The quarantined horses will continue to be monitored and tested weekly until the veterinary team has determined that there is no more risk of disease, Thomas added

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Passionate about horses and science from the time she was riding her first Shetland Pony in Texas, Christa Lesté-Lasserre writes about scientific research that contributes to a better understanding of all equids. After undergrad studies in science, journalism, and literature, she received a master’s degree in creative writing. Now based in France, she aims to present the most fascinating aspect of equine science: the story it creates. Follow Lesté-Lasserre on Twitter @christalestelas.

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