2007 Equine Herpesvirus Outbreak

March 29

EMC Quarantine Released; Center to Resume Full Operations
-- Officials at Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia announced today that the facility will reopen to outpatients on March 30, following the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' issuance of an official release of quarantine on March 28.


The hospital is scheduled to resume full operations, including inpatient and emergency care, on April 2.


The quarantine was imposed by the Virginia State Veterinarian’s Office on Feb. 20, in response to the suspected infection of two horses with equine herpesvirus type-1 (EHV-1). Eighteen patients were held at the hospital during the restriction. Three of those hospitalized horses tested positive for EHV-1 – two of which have since tested negative for the disease and remain in the center’s Animal Biosafety Level 2 isolation unit and one of which was euthanized due to unrelated medical conditions. No horses died at the center from EHV-1.

To read the full release, go to: www.equinemedicalcenter.com

Mar. 22, 2007

MJC to Lift Ban on Virginia Horses

Maryland Jockey Club officials announced March 22 that they planned to lift the ban on horses shipping from Virginia into MJC facilities starting Friday, March 23. The ban had been in place as a precaution during the recent herpes investigations in both Maryland and Virginia.

Mar 19, 2007

Maryland Lifts Final Hold Orders


The Maryland Department of Agriculture today received the final outstanding equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) negative test results taken last week, for a total of 62 negative tests. As a result of these negative tests all properties of interest have been fully released from hold orders, bringing the investigations to a close in Maryland. The last two farms to be released were in Carroll and Harford counties.


" These negative tests bring this EHV-1 situation to official closure in Maryland as all hold orders have been lifted and there are no reported signs of the virus anywhere in the state," said State Veterinarian Guy Hohenhaus. "I would like to thank all the parties involved for their cooperation enabling the state to bring the event to conclusion quickly and efficiently."

EMC QUARANTINE PARTIALLY LIFTED

3/13/07
According to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), a quarantine that was imposed on Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center on Feb. 20 due to an equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) infection has been partially lifted as of March 12. The two horses being held within one of the biosecurity perimeters established within the Leesburg, Virginia hospital were discharged from the hospital on Friday, March 9.


The State Veterinarian has authorized the release of these horses based on stringent criteria established by the center, including the isolation of groups of horses, the length of time for which the horses have shown no symptoms and three consecutive negative tests for EHV-1. Testing of the horses in the remaining two biosecurity perimeters should be completed by March 13. When all horses within each specific group test negative for the virus, a request will be sent to the state veterinarian to lift the quarantine on that area of the hospital and the horses being held in that area will be discharged from the hospital.


There are currently two horses remaining at the center that are exhibiting neurologic signs, all of which have improved and are in stable condition in the center's isolation unit. These two horses have tested positive for EHV-1 and will remain in isolation until they pass the testing criteria. Test results from two other horses that appeared to have neurologic signs were negative for the virus. 3/8/07

Virginia State Vet Begins Lifting Herpes Quarantines


Dr. Richard Wilkes, state veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), has begun lifting quarantines due to the equine herpes virus-1 (EHV-1). He released a farm in Middleburg on March 6 and one farm each in Leesburg and Casanova March 7.


Although horses on these three farms had possibly come in contact with an EHV-1 infected horse at the Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Leesburg, no horses on the farms ever showed any sign of illness compatible with EHV. After additional testing over the weekend which was negative, Dr. Wilkes lifted the quarantines.


Quarantines remain on seven premises in four counties, including the EMC. VDACS is awaiting test results on additional farms and the Marine Corps Base at Quantico.
Dr. Wilkes has not cancelled public sales or auctions for this weekend, although he advises a common sense approach and good bio-security practices. Currently there are no travel restrictions on horses in Virginia outside of quarantined premises.


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. The duration from infection to clinical illness can take up to 10 days and once infected, horses may shed the virus and be contagious for 3-4 weeks. A second wave of infections may not be apparent until a few weeks after the first wave. If no new cases of EHV-1 develop and if horse owners practice vigilant bio-security, horse movement may return to normal later this month.

35/07

March 2 MDA Herpes Update

MDA lifted one of the two conditional hold orders today, leaving one conditional hold order and one full hold order in place. No updates or change in status are expected this weekend. See chart below for status.

Sixth Virginia Horse Tests Positive for Herpes
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced on March 2 that a horse from a second farm in Loudoun County tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1). This is the sixth horse from Virginia to test positive. At this writing, officials are awaiting lab results on two additional horses at the present time.


The latest positive test came from a horse that was at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) for treatment when EHV-1 was detected in a horse at the center. The farm has been quarantined, along with nine other premises in Virginia, in an effort to control the spread of the virus from horses that possibly were exposed at the EMC. The horse showed signs of fever but did not develop neurological signs as did the other positive horses. He is stable and doing very well.


The positive horses remained at the EMC, were released to another state, or are on farms in Virginia quarantined by State Veterinarian Richard Wilkes. VDACS is guardedly optimistic that the virus has not spread to other animals in Virginia, but since the incubation period can vary from 1-10 days and horses may remain infectious for three to four weeks, only time will tell.

3/2/07

More Negative Herpes Tests in VA, Two State Parks Closed to Horses


The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced on March 1 that a horse from a farm in Culpeper County, Virginia tested negative for Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1). This is the third horse from Virginia to test negative; five have tested positive.


The Culpeper farm, in Rixeyville, has been quarantined since last week, along with nine other premises in Virginia as part of an ongoing effort to control the spread of the virus from horses that possibly were exposed at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center. Officials are awaiting lab results on additional horses at the present time.


The VDACS Web site, www.vdacs.virginia.gov, contains updates on the situation, a listing of quarantined farms by city and county, as well as fact sheets and biosecurity information.
In other news, Virginia's Sky Meadows and Shenandoah River State Parks will be closed to horses until March 12 due to the recently reported cases of EHV-1 in Northern Virginia. This timeframe may be extended if circumstances require it. The other state parks will remain open to horses; however, the State Veterinarian cautions riders to avoid the co-mingling of groups of horses, such as on trail rides, to limit the spread of this serious, contagious disease.

Background on Positive Herpes Test in Harford County

According to information from Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) and Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) officials, the horse that was euthanized last month in Harford County, Maryland (see Feb. 26 update) had originated in Fauquier County, Virginia – and was destroyed due to neurologic disease, although she did have other medical problems. Her test results, which reportedly came back after her death, were positive for EHV-1.


This horse is not to be confused with the so-called “index” horse, the animal from St. Mary’s County, Maryland that was the first to show signs of – and test positive for – herpes at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) in Leesburg, Virginia.

2/28/07

Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center Update

Maryland Lifts Two More Hold Orders Due to Negative Herpes Test Results


As of Feb. 28, officials from the Maryland Department of Agriculture had received the final outstanding equine herpesvirus-1 negative test results taken the previous week, for a total of 30 negative tests. As a result of this negative test, the MDA reports that 10 of the 13 properties of interest have now been fully released from hold orders; two of the properties have "conditional or partial" releases prohibiting individual horses of interest from leaving the property; and one property remains under a hold due to a positive test result. The newly released farms are in Carroll and Charles counties.


Additional information about equine herpesvirus-1 and biosecurity measures as well as updates on the current situation in Maryland and Virginia are posted at www.mda.state.md.us.

 

Virginia Point-To-Points Resheduled & Other Events Cancelled

According to the Virginia Point-to-Point Central Entry office, the Rappahannock and Blue Ridge meets, postponed due to the herpes investigations, have been rescheduled for March 31, when a combined meet will be held at Woodley Farm near Berryville. Times and conditions will be posted soon at http://www.morvenpark.org.

HORSE AUCTIONS AND SALES CANCELLED IN VIRGINIA THROUGH MARCH 5


Effective immediately (Feb. 28), Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has cancelled all public horse sales and auctions in the Commonwealth through Monday, March 5, 2007. This is one of the continuing efforts to stop

the spread of Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1) currently present in Northern Virginia.
The cancellation order is effective statewide. While EHV-1 is not harmful to humans, people can spread it on their shoes or with their vehicles, and an infected horse at an event could infect other horses, which would then carry the disease back to their points of origin.


The ban will remain in effect until March 5 unless extended by the State Veterinarian.
In other news, an additional test result came back negative today on a horse from Fauquier County. This brings the total test results to five positives and two negatives in that state to date.

Maryland Jockey Club Bans Virginia Horses

The Maryland Jockey Club announced on Feb. 28 that, "due to the recent herpes outbreak originating in Virginia, no horses from the state of Virginia will be allowed to ship into Laurel, Pimlico, or Bowie until further notice."

Another Virginia Horse Tests Positive for EHV-1


The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) announced on the afternoon of Feb. 27 that a horse from a farm in Loudoun County had tested positive for Equine Herpes Virus-1 (EHV-1). This is the fifth horse from Virginia to test positive. Results on an additional horse, from Fauquier County, were negative.


The latest positive test came from a horse that was at the Marion duPont Equine Medical Center (EMC) for treatment when EHV-1 was detected in a horse at the center. The farm has been quarantined since last week, along with nine other premises in Virginia, in an effort to control the spread of the virus from horses that possibly were exposed at the EMC. Officials are awaiting lab results on four additional horses at the present time. All of the horses that have tested positives showed signs of neurological disease.


" Thanks to rapid diagnosis and notification by the EMC, VDACS personnel quarantined all the contact premises in Virginia last week," said Dr. Richard Wilkes, State Veterinarian. "This new confirmation indicates that more horses on this particular farm may have been exposed, but we are hopeful that our quarantine has prevented exposure of other horses in the area. We will continue to monitor this farm, as well as others, until the threat of EHV-1 has passed. Farms will remain under quarantine until investigations and tests are completed and we believe transmission of the virus is no longer a credible risk."
To view the complete release, go to www.vdacs.virginia.gov.

2/27/07

MDA Lifts Hold Orders on More Properties w/Neg. EHV-1 Test Results


ANNAPOLIS, MD - Feb. 27, 2007- The Maryland Department of Agriculture today received test results taken last week from 16 more Maryland horses involved in the equine herpesvirus-1 situation in Maryland and Virginia, for a total of 28 negative tests. As a result of these negative tests, a total of eight of the 13 properties of interest are being fully released from hold orders; three of the properties have "conditional or partial" releases prohibiting individual horses of interest from leaving the property; one property (in Carroll County) remains under a hold order because test results are still outstanding; and one property remains under a hold due to a positive test result. Maryland uses "Hold Orders" to prohibit the movement of horses on to or off of a given property.


Since returning from the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va. the horses at the three conditionally/partially released properties (one each in Charles, Howard, and Carroll counties) have been isolated with strong biosecurity measures. Those horses remain under a hold order, while the others on those properties have been released.


Test results from one mare that was euthanized last week in Harford County were positive for ehv-1. The mare had come from Virginia through Leesburg for treatment and was located at a facility in Harford County to recover. The facility has been under a hold order with no horse movement on or off the farm since the investigation in Maryland began early last week. There are no horses on the facility with any signs of ehv-1.


Virginia Point-to-Point Postponements, Morven Park Restrictions


According to the Central Entry Office for Virginia Point-to-Points at Morven Park in Leesburg, the Rappahannock and Blue Ridge Point-to-Points originally scheduled for March 3 and March 10 have been postponed by the organizers and will be rescheduled. The new dates will be announced later. The Casanova Hunt Point-to-Point, which was scheduled for last Saturday, does not plan on rescheduling at this time.


In addition, the Bull Run Hunter Pace has been postponed to 10:00 a.m on April 14, and the Casanova Hunter Pace has been postponed to April 21, time TBA. You must enter for these races even if you had previously entered for the February dates.

Central Entry is requesting that anyone involved with Virginia, Maryland or the Delaware Valley point-to-point racing please update their mailing addresses and email addresses with that organization. Please send an email to office@morvenpark.org with your mailing address, email address, and daytime phone number.


The Morven Park Equestrian Center has imposed a 21-day voluntary quarantine to ensure the health and safety of the entire equine community and future events at the facility. The few horses that are in residence at the facility have not shown any symptoms. MPEC plans to reopen on March 9, which is 21 days from the last date any horse came or left the Equestrian Center.


Please check http://www.morvenpark.org for further updates or call (703) 777-2890.

2/26/07

Equine Herpesvirus-1 Test Results Returned on Maryland Horses of Interest

ANNAPOLIS, MD - Feb. 26, 2007 - The Maryland Department of Agriculture has received test results taken last week from 13 Maryland horses involved in the equine herpesvirus-1 situation in Maryland and Virginia. Twelve of the test results were negative, resulting in one hold order being fully lifted from a facility in Montgomery County, Md. Hold orders on two other farms, one each in Charles and Howard counties, have been partially lifted, with the horses of interest at those two locations remaining under a hold order. Since returning from the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va. the both horses at the Charles and Howard county farms have been isolated with strong biosecurity measures. Those horses remain under a hold order, while the others on those properties have been released. Maryland uses "Hold Orders" to prohibit the movement of horses on to or off of a given property.


Test results from one mare that was euthanized last week in Harford County were positive for ehv-1. The mare had come from Virginia through Leesburg for treatment and was located at a facility in Harford County to recover. The facility has been under a hold order with no horse movement on or off the farm since the investigation in Maryland began early last week. There are no horses on the facility with any signs of ehv-1.


After lifting the hold order on the one Montgomery county farm, Maryland officials still have hold orders on a total of 12 facilities in Carroll, St. Mary's Charles, Montgomery, Howard, and Harford counties. All remaining test results are expected in the next couple of days.

For the complete press release from the MDA, click here: http://www.mda.state.md.us/

West Virginia Racetracks Ban Ship-Ins Horses from Maryland

The Maryland Jockey Club confirmed on Feb. 26 that, until further notice, West Virginia racetracks have banned ship-ins from Maryland due to the recent herpes Hold Orders in this state. However, a MJC representative said that as of this writing, there were no Hold Orders at Pimlico, Laurel or Bowie.

2/23/07

Update from the Maryland Department of Agriculture

6pm -
As of today there are five new facilities of interest, for a total of 13, under hold orders based on new information from the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center noted in the 2/22 update. Samples were taken today from horses on those properties. Test results from the first batch taken earlier this week are still expected on Monday. The counties in Maryland with facilities under hold orders are Baltimore, Carroll, Charles, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and St. Mary's. The risk level in Maryland for the broad horse community remains low.

For the complete press release from the MDA, click here: http://www.mda.state.md.us/

Herpes Prompts Virginia Event Cancellations

The Virginia state veterinarian has reportedly ordered the cancellation of all Loudoun and Fauquier County equine events (including the Casanova Hunt Point-to-Point) for the weekend of Feb. 24/25. If you were planning to take a horse to Northern Virginia, please confirm that the activity has not been cancelled or postponed.

Virginia currently has 10 facilities under quarantine, affecting approximately 175 horses. One facility in Culpeper County, 2 in Fauquier County, 6 in Loudoun County, and one facility on the Quantico Marine Base. For more information about the situation in Virginia, check the Virginia Department of Agriculture's website at: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/animals/ehv.shtml

Herpes Info. Meetings Hosted by Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center
• Informational Meeting for Veterinarians
- Saturday, Feb. 24, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Morven Park International Equestrian Center, 41793 Tutt Lane, Leesburg, Virginia

• Informational Meeting for Clients - Monday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Best Western Leesburg-Dulles, 726 East Market Street, Leesburg, Virginia

2/22/07

Maryland Herpes Investigations Underway

According to a Feb. 22 press release, the Maryland Department of Agriculture is conducting neurologic equine herpes virus -1 (EHV-1) investigations in eight Maryland locations (with seven horses currently located in state). The locations are in Carroll, St. Mary's, Charles, Howard, Baltimore, Montgomery, with two facilities in both Carroll and Charles counties. It is believed that more facilities will be added.

The investigations are warranted because these horses had possible indirect exposure to an EHV-1 test-positive horse being treated initially for colic at the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Virginia and were discharged before the horse in Leesburg showed signs of EHV-1. The "index" horse that originally went to Leesburg was from St. Mary's County and remains at Leesburg under treatment. At this writing, no horses currently in Maryland have tested positive for EHV-1


In conjunction with the investigations, the MDA has placed seven-day "Investigational Hold Orders" on all of the suspect locations to prevent any movement of horses until each situation is evaluated and any necessary test results are back. Samples have been taken from the horses.

At this writing, both the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg and another undisclosed location in Loudoun County, Virginia were under state quarantine.


MDA reminds Maryland horse owners that it is always prudent to practice on-farm biosecurity to prevent illness of any kind.


Additional information about equine herpesvirus-1 and biosecurity measures -- as well as updates on the current situation in Maryland and related cases in Virginia -- are posted at www.mda.state.md.us. (click on “Hot Topics/Equine Herpesvirus Update”)


For more information, visit:

Information on Maryland's 2006 outbreak

To understand the difference between a Hold Order and a Quarantine, click here


Full News release and all future updates from the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center: http://emc.vetmed.vt.edu/newatEMC.html


Full news release from the Virginia Department of Agriculture: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/news/releases-b.shtml

 

 

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