Outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1

Outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1

An outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1 has been reported from various states ranging from Texas to Washington. The virus has raised distress among veterinarians and horse owners across the West. Equine Herpes Virus-1 has been affecting the horses since decades and is quite common.

The virus has affected at least 34 horses in nine states till now. Due to the spread of virus, the authorities were forced to cancel or postpone many riding competitions, rodeos, fairground exhibitions and horse auctions in several Western states and Canada.

Experts said that horses can contract equine herpes from water, fences, tack or other equipment that has been contaminated with sneeze droplets from an infected animal. Symptoms of the virus include lack of coordination and loss of balance, along with fever, weakness, lethargy and nasal discharge.

The virus does not spread in humans but can spread to mules, burros, llamas and alpacas. Mortality rates of infected horses vary from 10-75%. Experts advise the horse owners to take the horses to vets, if they exhibit any of the symptoms of the flu. A number of vaccinations are available to effectively control symptoms.