March 1, 2013
A horse participating in a horse show in Ocala, Florida, exhibited neurologic signs and tested positive for the Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), wild-type strain, on February 20, 2013. Currently, the horse is in stable condition and continues to be treated at the University of Florida.
Some additional exposed horses have also tested positive for EHV-1, although they have not exhibited neurological signs. As a result, there are currently 12 premises under quarantine in Florida. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages Virginia horse owners to be mindful of the situation and to continue to observe strict biosecurity when traveling with their horses.
VDACS is monitoring the situation in Florida closely and has the following guidance:
Horses from Florida are not permitted to travel to Virginia if they originate from a quarantined premises in Florida.
Healthy horses from Florida not under quarantine are able to move from Florida to Virginia at this time on a valid Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or Equine Interstate Event Permit.
Body temperatures must be recorded on the Certificate of Veterinary Inspection or Equine Interstate Event Permit before travel. Horses with elevated temperatures are not allowed to travel to Virginia.
Biosecurity is extremely important in reducing the transmission of this disease. This includes isolation of new positive horses.
Horse owners and veterinarians may want to bookmark the Florida Department of Agriculture’s website for updates: freshfromflorida.com/ai/pdf/EHVWebsiteUpdate.pdf.
VDACS will post updates on the situation as needed on its website, vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/ehv.shtml; its Facebook page, facebook.com/VaAgriculture; and on Twitter, twitter.com/vaagriculture/.