Equine Infectious Diseases and Emergency Response
Current Equine Disease Alerts/Investigations
Kentucky EHV-1 Investigations
Results of testing from the population of horses in the quarantined barn have been reported, and with it having been greater than 14 days since the population was last exposed, the quarantine is released and horses in the barn are under no further restrictions.
With this barn now released, there are no racing or training facilities in KY under quarantine for EHV1.
Previously positive horses do remain under regulatory monitoring and remain quarantined in secured isolated areas.
We appreciate the commitment, and cooperation of KY’s horsemen, track managers, racing officials and all others who worked to resolve these events.
Racing at Turfway updated
Trainers shipping in to race or train will continue to be assigned stabling in the receiving barns unless the individual trainer has stalls permanently assigned on the backside. All horses entering the stabling area are required to present valid certificates (EIA and CVI) qualifying the horse’s entry onto the backside. The CVI must include statements that demonstrate a valid vaccination history.
Horses with history of having been at Fair Grounds in LA (or other LA facility where EHV has been diagnosed)
We continue to disallow these horses entry onto a KY race track or their associated training facilities without meeting testing requirements. These requirements can be viewed on our web page at www.kyagr.com/statevet, following the link to the EHV updates and protocols
Update 2/10/17 at 11:15am
Keeneland’s barn on Rice Road that has remained under quarantine, is today released from the quarantine and all associated restrictions.
Testing of this barn’s population of horses that had been exposed to EHV1 was completed today (2/10/2017) with each horse testing NEG on both nasal swabs and whole blood. Having been greater than 14 days post exposure and each horse now having two (2) negative sets of results – The KY Office of State Veterinarian has released the quarantine imposed on January 22, 2017 and horses from this barn are under no further restrictions. With this release, we have no barns at the training center under quarantine or restriction. Previous positive horses do remain under regulatory monitoring and are quarantined at a secured segregated area off the site and will remain so until they too are confirmed negative by PCR testing.
Results of EHV1 testing by PCR, conducted on the population of horses in the quarantined barn at Turfway Park has failed to give us the level of confidence needed tonight to declare that the horses in the barn meet eligibility to be released from the quarantine and restrictions. With this determination, the status of this barn remains unchanged tonight.
In summary: With one (1) exception, the population of horses in the barn did test negative on both whole blood and nasal swabs. The single exception is a result from a nasal swab that did detect EHV1 DNA at a low level. The whole blood sample was negative, and daily monitoring has been conducted with no evidence of illness detected. To assure confidence of this individual’s (and the population’s) status, additional samples (whole blood and nasal swabs) are scheduled to be collected from this horse. Results of this sampling are expected to be available on Friday afternoon 2/10/17.
KEENELAND'S Rice Road Training Center – 1 barn remains under quarantine tonight – Samples (whole blood and nasal swabs) have been collected from the horses in this barn and testing results are expected to be available tomorrow morning 2/9/17. We will issue an update on the status of horses in this barn after the results are reported.
KEENELAND'S Rice Road Training Center - 1 of 2 barns that had been quarantined earlier, has today been released from the quarantine and all associated restrictions.
Testing of the barn’s population of horses that had been exposed to EHV1 was completed today (2/8/2017) with each horse testing NEG on both nasal swabs and whole blood. Having been greater than 14 days post exposure and each horse now having two (2) negative sets of results – The KY Office of State Veterinarian has released the quarantine imposed on January 22, 2017 and horses from this barn are under no further restrictions.
OLDHAM COUNTY PREMISES II = Quarantine Released
Testing of the barn’s population of horses that had been exposed to EHV1has been completed with the results reported yesterday earlier today (2/3/2017) that each horse tested NEG on both nasal swabs and whole blood. Having been greater than 14 days post exposure with daily observation and monitoring for illness conducted with no abnormal finding, and each horse now having two (2) negative sets of results – The Ky Office of State Veterinarian has released the quarantine imposed on January 11, 2017 and the horses are under no further restrictions.
KEENELAND's Rice Road Training Center and TURFWAY Park in Florence KY
The investigations and status at each of these facilities is unchanged since the previous reports.
The population of horses continues to be monitored daily. Sample collection and testing of these barns populations is being scheduled and planned for next week
KEENELAND – Rice Road Training Center
Testing of samples collected on 1/25/17 from horses in both barns has been completed and reported. The testing did identify a second positive horse in the first barn, bringing the total EHV1 ‘wild strain’ positive horses in that barn to two (2). That horse, a 3yo TB colt was positive on nasal swab, negative on blood. The colt was moved from the barn to the secured isolation last night (Wed 1/25).
Testing of horses in the second barn did identify three (3) horses, all are 2yo TB fillies, to be EHV1 ‘wild strain’ positive by PCR on the nasal swabs, testing of whole blood samples from each horse were reported negative for EHV1. These additional positive horses were moved from the barn to the secured isolation earlier tonight.
Each of the two quarantined barns are secured, entry into the barns is restricted and biosecurity levels are implemented at highest level. In addition to the affected barns, heightened biosecurity has been implemented in the entire barn area that includes restricting entrance into each barn, and requires disinfecting upon entry and exit of each barn.
Designated times have been established for the horses from the quarantined barns to gain access to the track for exercise after the normal training hours have elapsed and the general population of horses have returned to their barns.
The two positive horses identified and described on 1/24/17 were moved offsite and are isolated on a private farm.
Monitoring of the general population continues with no evidence of further cases developing.
The previously established and described protocols for ship-ins, racing, training and monitoring remain in effect.
Oldham Premises I
Testing of the barn’s population of horses that had been exposed to EHV1 was completed yesterday (1/25/2017) with each horse testing NEG on both nasal swabs and whole blood. Having been greater than 14 days post exposure, and each horse now having two (2) negative sets of results – The Ky Office of State Veterinarian has released the quarantine imposed on January 5, 2017 and the horses are under no further restrictions.
Oldham Premises II
Daily monitoring and assessment of the horses in the exposed quarantine barn continues with no evidence of further transmission of EHV1. Collection of samples (swabs and blood) from these horses has been scheduled to be completed next week to determine their eligibility to be released from restrictions as well.
The sampling of horses in the affected barn at Turfway Park did identify two (2) additional horses (from 1 trainer a 4yo TB gelding and a 9yo TB mare) to be EHV-1 Positive by PCR detecting the ‘wild strain’ of virus from nasal swabs. There have been no clinical developments in the horses currently housed in Barn 27 and options for removing those two positive horses from the environment and managing the barns remaining population are being evaluated and considered tonight.
Whole blood samples were submitted from the population of horses in both of the previously quarantined barns today, and testing completed earlier this evening has identified a single positive EHV-1 horse (3yo TB colt) in one barn. That positive horse has been removed from the barn and is in a secured isolation. Testing of nasal swabs collected from each horse in the barn is expected to be completed tomorrow. The population of horses continues to be confined to the barn pending results of that testing. Testing of samples completed on horses in the second quarantined barn have been reported negative on blood only and they too remain confined to the barn until testing of nasal swabs is complete.
The barns are secure with movement into and out of the barns restricted to essential personnel only. Biosecurity measures have and continue to be implemented at the highest level at each track and we are of the opinion tonight that recognizing and responding to the disease risk early in this united manner has been effective at both tracks and does provide the opportunity to resolve the disease threat in the coming weeks. Updates will be provided by the Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian as new information becomes available or developments occur.
Updated 1/23/17 @ 8:00am
No new clinical developments or significant events over the weekend.
Samples collected from each horse in affected barn at Turfway Park on 1/22/17 were submitted for testing today as
UPDATE 1/21/17 @ 5:00pm
Samples collected from each horse in affected barn
The Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian has placed an order of quarantine on a barn on the backside of Turfway Park after a horse from that barn was tested by a PCR assay and determined to be positive to Equine Herpesvirus Type-1 ‘wild strain.’ The horse, a 2014 Thoroughbred filly, had been stabled in the barn at Turfway from October 30 through January 19, 2017. The sample, a nasal swab, was collected as the filly was being moved to a private facility to prepare for breeding in 2017. The filly is currently in isolation offsite on a private farm.
In response to the report of a positive result, the Office of the State Veterinarian did issue a directive on Friday, January 20, that horses in the affected barn are confined to the barn and an order of quarantine issued on Saturday morning. Security is in place, with only essential personnel granted access to the barn and caution being taken on exit to ensure sanitation. Results of testing are expected to be available Monday evening, January 23. In the interim, horses are confined to the barn. After the risk is better defined, the Office will develop schedules to allow eligible horses in the barn to work on the track outside normal training hours after all other horses have returned to their barns.
Rusty Ford, equine programs manager for Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout, was on the grounds Saturday morning, January 21. Meeting with trainers in the quarantined barn, track management, attending veterinarians and racing officials, Ford stated, “Because proactive measures were implemented at Turfway Park earlier in the meet, including restricted access and controlled movement of horses onto the backside and the elevated biosecurity implemented in all common areas, we are optimistic our efforts will pay a dividend and that we have minimized risk of disease transmission on the backside.”
After reviewing movement records of horses in and out of Turfway, we also have preliminarily identified a potential point of exposure involving two barns at the Keeneland training center. Each of those barns also has been placed under quarantine, and arrangements are being made to sample those horses. As at Turfway, in the interim horses in those barns are restricted to their barn areas and not permitted to train. As our epidemiology investigation continues, we will be better able to define what direct and indirect exposure may have occurred and adjust our strategies as needed.
As in the past, Kentucky horsemen, tracks and racing officials recognize and appreciate efforts made to control disease transmission and accept the short term inconvenience and associated cost for the long term benefit of racing in the Commonwealth.
Updated 1/19/17 @ 3:45pm
There is apparently ‘misinformation’ circulating through social media and other channels relative to the EHV-1 investigations underway in KY. Strategically, our situation here in Kentucky is unchanged – we are continuing to investigate and manage two (2) disease instances – on separate premises. The investigations, both involving premises in Oldham County, are unrelated with one involving the ‘wild strain’ of EHV-1 and the second associated with the mutated strain of EHV-1. Details of each investigation/status were previously made on 1/13/17 and there has been no significant new developments.
The investigation and status on Premises 1 is unchanged – there have been no additional cases develop, daily monitoring and evaluation continues.
The investigation and status on Premises 2 – we continue to have one barn on premises 2 under quarantine. Daily monitoring and evaluation of all other barns on the premises continues to provide evidence that our strategies utilized thus far have been effective in containing the virus to the original index barn. There is no evidence indicating or suggesting the virus has spread on the premises.
Current Racing in KY: Live racing continues at Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky with disease mitigating strategies being effectively utilized. These strategies include control and oversight by the KY Department of Agriculture of horses moving onto and off the track, restrict racing ship-ins to the receiving barn, as well as elevating our daily biosecurity practices to include enhanced race day cleaning/disinfecting of common areas and equipment, that includes starting gate between races, receiving barn, test barn, etc. We appreciate the sacrifice made by horsemen, track management, veterinarians, Turfway Park’s security officers and the backside ground crew.
Fair Grounds: Published reports indicate quarantines currently in place at Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans may begin being released later this week. Our position today, that disallows horses from those areas to gain entry to a KY track or sanctioned training facility is unchanged from the directive issued on January 3, 2017. We will continue to evaluate the current disease status in LA, and will adjust our strategies as facts become more clear and understandable.
Equine updates available at: www.kyagr.com/statevet/equine-infectious-diseases.html
FIRST: For clarification – I am again restating that we are currently working 2 separate incidences here in KY where EHV-1 has been diagnosed. Each of the 2 involved premises are in Oldham County Kentucky and for the purpose of reporting are identified Oldham Premise 1 and Oldham Premise 2. When reviewing the information it is important to distinguish the two separate investigations and premises, as they are not related and in fact two different strains of EHV-1 have been determined.
Premises 1: I initially reported this case to EDCC on 1/7/17 with details described. The causative agent in this investigation was determined to be EHV1 mutated strain (ORF30 gene).
As of today, 1/13/2017 there have been no additional cases found since the last cases diagnosed on 1/6.
Daily monitoring continues and the reports show no significant findings. There have been 4 horses on Premises 1 identified as positive, and in all cases the mutated strain of virus was identified.
Traces from Premises 1 were conducted and did result in 2 additional horses being identified as positive. Each of these horses are on private facilities. Both of the positive horses and their cohorts remain isolated and monitoring continues.
Premises 2: I initially reported to EDCC on 1/11/17 with details described in the notification. Included in the report was information that samples (both nasal swabs and whole blood) were collected from each horse in the affected barn on Premises 2 and submitted for EHV testing. Results of that testing did identify 5 additional horses to be positive by PCR on the nasal swab. As was the first case in this investigation, the strain of EHV1 identified is the ‘wild strain’, not the mutated strain. Testing of the each blood sample was reported NEG by PCR. These results provide evidence that virus has (and was continuing on 1/11) to be circulating in the barn that had been placed under quarantine. The 5 positive horses were removed from the barn and placed in a separate isolation early this morning (1/13/17). Monitoring of horses in the other barns continues, and there has been no evidence discovered suggesting the virus has spread to other barns or areas on the premises. Health monitoring of the population continues and individual reports assessed daily.
KY’s Racing Safeguard is ENHANCED BIOSECURITY: Currently live racing is being conducted at Turfway Park in Florence KY. Disease mitigating strategies have been implemented at the track to help maintain a safe and healthy environment. The strategies include control and oversight of horse movement onto and off the track, restrict racing ship-ins to the receiving barn, in addition to elevating our daily biosecurity practices to include enhanced race day cleaning/disinfecting of common areas and equipment to include starting gates, receiving barn, test barn, etc. While somewhat disruptive to ‘business as usual’, these added safeguards are our best opportunity to maintain a healthy environment for horses to come and race. We appreciate the sacrifice made by horsemen, track management, veterinarians, security and the backside ground crew.
Kentucky EHV-1 Investigations updated 1/12/2017
See reports sent to the Equine Disease Communication Center: 1/12/2017 @ 10:45pm
First: From the information provided 1/7/17 –some reporting incorrectly interpreted the information provided and suggested the outbreak of Equine Herpesviurs Type 1 currently being investigated was associated to a veterinary hospital. There is not nor has there been any veterinary facility quarantined for equine herpesvirus in KY.
Update: A horse residing on a second premises in Oldham County tested positive for EHV1 (wild strain), following development of a fever on 1/9. There have been no neurologic abnormalities seen. We did earlier today visit the premises and after assessing the facility layout and operation, the barn where this horse resided was placed under an order of quarantine.
Horses in all barns on the premises are being monitored daily with temperature logs kept and provided to our office. KDA has and will continue to have personnel on the grounds monitoring activity.
Samples (nasal swabs and whole blood) were collected from each horse residing in the affected barn and those samples were submitted to the laboratory tonight for EHV testing. Although both premises currently under quarantine are in Oldham County, they are different strains of the virus involved. There is no evidence that the cases are related.
The affected horse on the second premises was moved to an isolation barn when fever was found and he was moved off the premises on 1/12/17..
Update to the first affected premises. Results of the testing on side 1 did identify two additional horses positive to EHV1 having the mutated ORF30 gene. In addition, the horse on side 2 that had spiked a fever late last week, tested positive to the same virus strain. All three of these horses were moved from their stabling area and placed in the isolation unit and the population of horses on side 2 were sampled with no additional positives discovered. Subsequently, the horse from side 2 that had fever presented with neurological abnormalities on Monday and was moved to isolation at a veterinary hospital for treatment where it continues to improve.
Results of Tracing From Premises One: All horses that had left the facility have been located and testing completed. 2 horses that had moved were identified to be positive (ORF30 mutated gene). These horses are in isolation on private facilities and are being monitored with the established protocol being followed.
Kentucky EHV-1 Investigations updated 1/8/2017
See Full report sent to the Equine Disease Communication Center: 1/7/2017 @ 3:22pm
On 1/4/17 a 2yo filly was referred from a Northern KY privately operated premises (Oldham Co) to a Lexington area hospital for evaluation
On 1/5 the KY Dept Agr’s investigator met with the premises’ management and the attending veterinarians – 14 horses in the ‘affected’ wing of the barn were sampled (nasal swab and whole blood)
On 1/6 am we were advised a horse in the barn’s second wing had a fever = samples were collected and hand submitted to the laboratory.
On 1/6 pm – Laboratory reported 2 of the 14 horses sampled from Side 1 were positive, and the febrile horse on Side 2 was also positive.
Each of the three positive results identified the ORF30 gene.
Samples are scheduled to be collected from the remaining 18 horses on Monday 1/9 am (Accounts for all horses on premises).
Equine that had moved from the premises since mid-December have been traced, located and are being individually assessed and when beneficial tested following our defined protocol.
There has been no movement to any KY racing/training facility.
EXAMPLES OF PAST EMERGENCY PROGRAMS
- Illinois Eva Outbreak At Arlington Race Track
- Australia Morbillivirus
- Vesicular Stomatitis In The Western States
- 1998 CEM Like Organism Found In The Nurse Mare Population
- 1999 - 2001 Monitoring West Nile Virus Occurrence
- 2001 - Foot and Mouth Disease Surveillance
- 2001 - Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome in Kentucky
2011 ARKANSAS EQUINE INFECTIOUS ANEMIA (EIA) OUTBREAK
EQUINE HERPES MYELOENCEPHALOPATHY (EHM)2011 WESTERN STATES OUTBREAK OVERVIEW
USDA Incident Information - Includes Weekly Situation Reports showing suspect and confirmed cases by states and other USDA Information.
Frequently Asked Questions about EHV/EHM for Horse Owners from American Association of Equine Practitioners
EHV/EHM Brochure for Horse Owners USDA 2009 Publication
KENTUCKY DEPT AGR UPDATE : 6 June 2011
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has recieved the final report on this outbreak. No new cases and no new premises have been affected.
KENTUCKY DEPT AGR UPDATE : 6 June 2011
- 52 Confirmed EHV-1 Cases (32 primary exposure which occurred at show in Ogden, UT + 20 secondary or tertiary exposure*)
- 32 Confirmed EHM Cases (26 primary exposure which occurred at show in Ogden, UT + 6 secondary or tertiary exposure*)
- 12 Deaths attributed to EHV/EHM Outbreak - Not all cases confirmed.
Key Information - TOTALS:
Horses categorized in EHV-1 or EHM suspect categories or as EHV-1confirmed in previous reports may change categories based on test results or development of additional clinical signs. *secondary or tertiary horses are those which have been exposed to horses which were exposed at the Ogden, UT show.
KENTUCKY DEPT AGR UPDATE : 31 May 2011
- 47 Confirmed EHV-1 Cases (33 primary exposure which occurred at show in Ogden, UT + 14 secondary or tertiary exposure*)
- 28 Confirmed EHM Cases (25 primary exposure which occurred at show in Ogden, UT + 3 secondary or tertiary exposure*)
- 11 Deaths attributed to EHV/EHM Outbreak - Not all cases confirmed. Click here for map of confirmed deaths.
Key Information - TOTALS:
*secondary or tertiary horses are those which have been exposed to horses which were exposed at the Ogden, UT show.KENTUCKY DEPT AGR UPDATE : 23 May 2011
2011 EQUINE HERPES MYELOENCEPHALOPATHY (EHM) WESTERN STATES OUTBREAK : KENTUCKY PESPECTIVE 23 May 2011KENTUCKY DEPT AGR UPDATE : 18 May 2011
2011 EQUINE HERPES MYELOENCEPHALOPATHY (EHM) WESTERN STATES OUTBREAK : KENTUCKY PESPECTIVE 18 May 2011KENTUCKY DEPT AGR UPDATE : 16 May 2011 Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy Outbreak - Rusty Ford
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture has received reports of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHV-1) affecting horses in multiple western states and have verified the disease being diagnosed in Colorado. The outbreak reportedly traces to horses thatattended the National Cutting Horse Association's (NCHA) Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah. The event took place April 30 ? May 8, 2011. Horses from multiple states were at the event.
After contacting the NCHA and the KY Quarter Horse Association we have found no evidence that Kentucky horses were present at this event nor has there been anyindication of Kentucky horses being affected. In light of this recent disease outbreak, theKentucky State Veterinarians Office encourages exhibitors to take extra caution to protect their horses from EHV-1 and other communicable disease.
- Consult your veterinarian about potential disease threats and steps you can take to mitigate any identified threat.?
- Available vaccines make no label claim to prevent the myeloencephalitic form of EHV-1 infection. Consult your veterinarian about any potential benefit vaccinating horses against equine herpes myeloencephalogathy (EHV-1). Recentexperiences combating outbreaks of neurologic herpes caused by EHV-1 in Kentuckysupports theanecdotal evidence suggesting some efficacyminimizing the impact of the disease.
- Observe horses daily for evidence of illness that may include elevated body temperature.
- Prevent your horses from having unnecessary contact with other horses at shows: do not
allow them to drink from a common water source or eat from shared buckets, minimize sharing of
equipment such as lead lines, and disinfect any equipment that is shared.?
2016 KY's Equine West Nile Virus - Updated 11/11//2016
7 Case(s) Reported - Map of affected counties
7 - Survived / 0 - Euthanized
Animal's West Nile Vaccination Status:
7 Not Vaccinated
Affected Counties: Equine in 7 of Kentucky's 120 Counties
Barren (1), Bourbon (1), Hart (1), Hardin (1)
Logan (1), Powell (1), Union (1)
2015 KY's Equine West Nile Virus - Updated 10/09/2015
8 Case(s) Reported - Map of affected counties
8 - Survived / 0 - Euthanized
Animal's West Nile Vaccination Status:
7 Not Vaccinated - 1 Vaccination Unknown/Pending
Affected Counties: Equine in 7 of Kentucky's 120 Counties
Bourbon (1), Crittenden (1), Fayette (1), Jefferson (1)
Montgomery (1), Nelson (2), Shelby (1)
Scroll Down for Annual Summary Reports and Geographic Maps
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is infrequently diagnosed in Kentucky equine.
The last reported cases of EEE affecting horses in Kentucky occured in 2013 (a 10yo, TWH, Non-Vaccinated gelding in Logan County and a second case occured in a 17yo QH mare in Carlisle County), Both horses had no known vaccinationin history and each animal expired. Prior to these cases, the most recent diagnosis was in 2008 (6mo Paint filly, Non-Vaccinated), and in 1995 (an 8yr female, Western KY, Not-Vaccinated)
The American Association of Equine Practitioners web page includes information describing this disease and it can be found at http://www.aaep.org/eee_wee.htm.
SURVEILLANCE:The Departments of Agriculture and Public Health have included Eastern equine encephalitis in our arbovirus surveillance. Mosquitoes being screened for West Nile virus are also tested for Eastern equine encephalitis virus. In addition, equine suspected of having contracted an encephalitic condition are being tested for West Nile and when warranted the sample is forwarded to the National Veterinary Services Laboratory for EEE screening.
0 Eastern Encephalitis Cases
- Animal's Disposition - 8 Alive / 0 Euthanized
- Animal's West Nile Vaccination Status - 7 Non-Vaccinated+ 1 Unlikely Vacc
Affected Equine in 7 of Kentucky's 120 Counties: Bourbon (1), Crittenden (1), Fayette (1), Jefferson (1), Montgomery (1), Nelson (2), Shelby (1)
West Nile Virus - 2014 Equine 4 Equine Confirmed West Nile Cases on 4 Premises
0 Eastern Encephalitis Cases
- Animal's Disposition - 1 Alive / 3 Euthanized
- Animal's West Nile Vaccination Status - 3 Non-Vaccinated+ 1 Unlikely Vacc
Affected Equine in 4 of Kentucky's 120 Counties: Allen (1), Calloway (1), Marion (1), Marshall (1)
West Nile Virus - 2013 Equine 12 Equine Confirmed West Nile Cases on 12 Premises
+ 2 Eastern Encephalitis Cases on 2 premises
- Animal's Disposition - 10 Alive / 2 Euthanized
- Animal's West Nile Vaccination Status - 12 Non-Vaccinated
Affected Equine in 10 of Kentucky's 120 Counties: Calloway (1), Christian (2), Edmonson (1) Graves (2), Hopkins (1), Lincoln (1), Todd (1), Trigg 1), Union (1), Warren (1)
West Nile Virus - 2012 Equine 13 Confirmed Equine West Nile Case on 11 Premises
West Nile Virus - 2011 Equine
September 11, 2015
Kentucky Reports Four Horses in Marshall County to be EIA Positive
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is reporting today that during the past two weeks, four (4) horses in Western Kentucky’s Marshall County have tested positive for detection of equine infectious anemia (EIA). These are the first Kentucky horses found positive for the viral disease since 2007. The initial horse was found positive as a result of testing performed by a private veterinarian, with the remaining three (3) cases discovered through testing conducted as part of the KDA investigation. Each of the horses were confirmed positive by additional testing and have since been humanely destroyed and buried. Seven (7) additional ‘cohorts’ tested negative on the initial testing. These seven remain under quarantine and will be periodically sampled during the next 60 days.
Though the route of transmission cannot be definitively determined, iatronic transmission has not been ruled out. The fact that one group of seven horses were commingled in a confined location the past 10 months with no evidence of transmission, minimizes chance of natural transmission having occurred.
The horses testing positive are described to be pleasure riding horses that have resided on one of two farms for several years and range in age from six to twenty-one years of age. When the positive horses were evaluated by KDA, they were found to be asymptomatic and in good body condition. The older horses were all reported to have been purchased through livestock markets, and as such would have been tested negative at the time of purchase. These pleasure horses have not regularly participated in practices that required they be routinely tested, and are defined as representing the ‘untested population’.
More information about Kentucky’s EIA Surveillance and Control Program that includes annual testing stats can be found at www.kyagr.com/statevet/equine-infectious-diseases.html.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture will provide updates as new information becomes available.
Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is an infectious viral disease affecting members of the horse family - for more information on this disease, please refer to the USDA EIA FACTSHEET.
History and Guidelines of Program
In 1974 the Kentucky Department of Agriculture implemented a program to determine the occurrence of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) among Kentucky's equine population. Testing conducted during the late 1970's and into the 1980's annually identified between 120 and 150 animals as affected with EIA.During the mid 80's and throughout the 90's an increased amount of attention was placed on stopping the spread of EIA amongst Kentucky's equine population. Today in excess of 100,000 samples are tested annually with fewer than 5 animals being identified as affected with EIA. Late in 2002 the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for the first time since its' inception amended the EIA Testing requirement from six (6) months to twelve (12) months for equine being offered for sale or changing ownership. FOR THE PURPOSE OF MEETING STATE TESTING REQUIREMENTS THE KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REQUIRES THAT THE ANIMALS BE TESTED USING AN OFFICIAL TEST METHOD CONDUCTED BY A LABORATORY APPROVED BY THE USDA TO CONDUCT EIA TESTING.
The Kentucky State Board of Agriculture recognizes both the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) and the ELISA as official tests. When time permits, we encourage the use of the AGID test. Though not often, we have on occasion seen instances of "false positives" being reported when using the ELISA test. In addition the ELISA tests are not always recognized by some states as "official" and are not recognized as "official" tests for the purpose of exporting animals from the United States. In the event that an ELISA test is used for the interstate movement of an animal, we would encourage you to contact the state of destination to insure that the test is recognized.
Sale and Exhibition
(1) Sale. All horses and other equidae, except un-weaned foals accompanied by their dam, offered for sale, traded, given away, leased, or moved for the purpose of change of ownership shall be negative to an AGID test or other USDA approved test for equine infectious anemia within the previous twelve (12) months. Equine which are offered for sale at approved auction markets without proof of a negative test for EIA within the previous twelve (12) months shall have a blood sample drawn at the market by the approved market veterinarian at the seller's expense.
(2) Exhibition. All horses and other equidae, except un-weaned foals accompanied by their dam, offered for exhibition (i.e., entry into fairgrounds, livestock show grounds, public boarding stables, trail rides, racing, etc.) shall be negative to an AGID test or other USDA approved test for equine infectious anemia within the previous twelve (12) months.
|YEAR||No Test||POS ANIMAL||Infect|
Last Updated: 2/01/2016
2015 Monthly Testing
** 3 Positive horses identified (exposed to July Horse)
through epidemiology testing
During the spring of 1984 a virus identified by the University of Kentucky's Department of Veterinary Science as Equine Arteritis Virus was threatening Kentucky's thoroughbred population. As a result of the continued spread of the virus amongst Central Kentucky's thoroughbred farms, all breeding of thoroughbred horses was ordered stopped during the early summer months by The Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture, working cooperatively with the University of Kentucky's Department of Veterinary Science, worked throughout the fall and winter to determine the extent of the recent outbreak. Prior to the 1985 breeding season all thoroughbred stallions were tested under the supervision of the Department. All stallions found to be positive to the serology test were quarantined while additional testing was conducted to determine if they in fact were carrier's of the arteritis virus.
After a short delay, non-affected stallions were permitted to begin breeding in 1985. Stallions which were not vaccinated against the virus were monitored by serology testing every 14 days throughout the course of the breeding season to insure that the virus was not being spread. Stallions which were found to be shedding arteritis virus were permitted to return to breeding midway through the '85 breeding season. These stallions were heavily regulated by the Department of Agriculture to insure that they were bred only to qualified mares which were approved to be bred by the State Veterinarian's Office while following a stringent post breeding protocol consisting of isolation and quarantine.
Today there are no known thoroughbred shedding stallions standing at stud in Kentucky. The Department of Agriculture requires that all thoroughbred stallions standing at stud in Kentucky be vaccinated annually against Equine Arteritis Virus. Stallions which are standing their first season in Kentucky are required to be tested prior to vaccination in order to determine that they are not affected with the arteritis virus. As of today the only commercially approved vaccine for use is manufactured by Fort Dodge Laboratories and is called ARVAC?.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, working cooperatively with the Jockey Club maintains a stallion roster to insure that all stallions standing in Kentucky are properly vaccinated.
KY's EVA Regulation
Standing at Stud in Kentucky
EVAVaccinations - Thoroughbred Stallion Roster
Last Updated 2/01/2016
2013 Occurrences of Equine Herpes Virus Type-1
Kentucky's Perspective and Position Updated: March 7, 2013
Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1) is described to be a highly contagious pathogen that is ubiquitous in horse populations throughout the world. Infections in horses can result in a variety of ailments that include respiratory disease, abortions, neonatal deaths and the neurologic disease termed Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM). Recently, alerts of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy being diagnosed in multiple states have been issued. States having cases of EHM diagnosed in recent months include California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah. Horses of different breeds and representing vastly different disciplines and activity have been affected.
The apparent increased frequency of disease and severity of symptoms being seen has lead Kentucky State Veterinarian Robert Stout to conclude extra precaution needs to be initiated and implemented to help mitigate the associated risk. We are directing Kentucky facility managers and the managers of shows/exhibitions planned to be held in Kentucky to immediately review their biosecurity practices and if needed elevate their biosecurity plan to minimize opportunity of horses having direct or indirect contact with one another. Indirect contact would include common water and feed sources as well as shared equipment and common areas. The goal of a biosecurity plan is to prevent the transmission of infectious agents among individuals. The components of a successful program will include cooperation of management, facility layout, decontamination, and when applicable immunization. Each of these factors directly affects the success or failure of the program. A copy of the American Association of Equine Practitioners biosecurity guidelines and EHV resources can be found at www.aaep.org/ehv_resources.htm. Our office is happy to assist facilities, show management and event veterinarians in evaluating their individual plans and when a need is identified, assist in adapting the plans.
As an additional preventive measure, we encourage horsemen to consult their veterinarians and after evaluating their animal's vaccination status consider if there is need or benefit to stimulating an immune response by vaccinating against EHV-1. We acknowledge the available vaccines' labels make no claim to prevent neurologic disease; but based on our experience managing outbreaks of this disease, and in consultation with infectious disease experts and research scientist, we continue to be of the opinion the vaccine does have a meaningful level of efficacy and may aide in reducing the impact of a disease incident.
In response to the identified increased risk, we have and will continue to operate with elevated regulatory surveillance and equine health inspection activity at events in Kentucky. Exhibitors can expedite their passage through our inspection points by having their health documents organized and horses loaded in a manner that will allow visual inspection. In addition to the surveillance and inspection activity we will be working closely with show managers and veterinarians to insure immediate notification and quick response to any suspected communicable disease.
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