Herpesvirus: Horses Stable at Equine Medical Center

A press release from Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at 5:29 p.m. today (February 28) stated that four horses being held in the Biosafety Level 2 isolation unit at the Equine Medical Center are in stable condition after

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A press release from Virginia Tech’s Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center at 5:29 p.m. today (February 28) stated that four horses being held in the Biosafety Level 2 isolation unit at the Equine Medical Center are in stable condition after exhibiting symptoms of equine herpesviru-1 (EHV-1). According to hospital officials, two of the horses have tested positive for the virus, while results of tests performed on the remaining two animals are expected early next week.


Post-mortem tests taken on a fifth horse that was euthanized at the center for an unrelated disease on Feb. 13 also came back positive for the virus, leading to a total of three positive tests at the Center for EHV-1.


According to Nathaniel White, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and Director of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center, it is believed that the EHV-1 infection began on Feb. 7 when a horse was admitted for an unrelated emergency, subsequently underwent surgery, then was stalled in a barn with other horses.


“At the time, the horse did not have a fever and was not exhibiting any symptoms of neurologic distress,” said White. “However, on Sunday, Feb. 11, four days after admission, that horse developed a fever and neurological signs and was immediately placed in our isolation unit

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