EHV in Colorado, Again
The Colorado Department of Agriculture is warning horse owners that an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) has been identified in Colorado. One confirmed case of the respiratory and neurological disease has been confirmed in Douglas County. The farm where the horse resides has been quarantined.
The affected horse was imported by a private owner from Iowa through a transport company and was euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the disease. There are three other facilities in Colorado that received horses from the same transport company. Those horses are isolated and are being closely monitored for any clinical signs of EHV.
Colorado was subject to a large outbreak of the disease in 2011, with 9 confirmed cases and two euthanizations. The outbreak began at an equestrian event and quickly spread to several of the horses that were present. Unlike in 2011, the current outbreak did not originate at an event that had many horses present and is not expected to spread. The Colorado State Veterinarian is not recommending equine travel restrictions like those mandated during the 2011 outbreak.
EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. The virus can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.
Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.