Parx EHV-1: Sixth Horse Tests Positive

The horse residing in a quarantined barn at the Bensalem, Pennsylvania, track tested positive earlier this week.

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The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported April 22 that a sixth horse residing at Parx Casino and Racing, in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, has tested positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

The EDCC reported that the horse, which was located in a quarantined barn, presented with a fever. Horses residing in quarantined barns continued to be monitored closely, the EDCC said.

The current outbreak began in early April when one horse from the track had exhibited signs consistent with the neurologic form of EHV-1, also known as equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, and subsequently tested positive for the virus. The index horse was treated in isolation at a New Jersey equine veterinary hospital before being euthanized. Including the index case and the most recently confirmed case, six horses have tested positive for the virus; of those, four have been euthanized. The Daily Racing Form reports that the remaining horse is showing signs of improvement at an off-site isolation facility.

Herpesvirus is highly contagious among horses and can cause a variety of ailments in equids, including rhinopneumonitis (a respiratory disease usually found in young horses), abortion in broodmares, and myeloencephalopathy. In many horses, fever is the only sign of EHV-1 infection, which can go undetected

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Written by:

Erica Larson, former news editor for The Horse, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in eventing with her OTTB, Dorado.

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