Virginia State Veterinarian Richard Wilkes, DVM, yesterday (March 7) lifted the quarantine on one farm in Middleburg, Loudoun County. Although a horse on the farm might have come in contact with an EHV-1 infected horse at the Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Leesburg, no horses on the farm have shown any sign of illness compatible with EHV and  had additional negative tests over the weekend.

Two more quarantines were lifted today, including a farm in Leesburg County, and another in Casanova.

Quarantines remain on seven premises, including the EMC.

Wilkes has not cancelled public sales or auctions for this weekend, although he advises a common sense approach and good biosecurity practices (see General Information at www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/ehv.shtml).

Although state animal health officials are cautiously optimistic that the neurological form of the EHV-1 virus is contained on the currently quarantined farms, it is too soon to be certain at this time as the duration from infection to clinical illness can take up to 10 days. Once infected, horses can shed the virus and be contagious for 3-4 weeks. A second wave of infections might not be apparent until a few weeks after the first wave.

According to the Department, horse movement might return to normal later this month, provided horse owners practice vigilant biosecurity and no new cases of EHV-1 develop.