Equine: Equine Herpesvirus-1
March 15, 2021
The additional 24 horses in Barn B of the index EHV1 affected premises, were sampled on Friday due to potential exposure of indirect transmission (riders) having occurred prior to confirmation of the index case. Two horses from this group had a trace amount of EHV-1 DNA detected in the nasal swab and were removed from the barn and segregated on Saturday.To date, 18 horses in index Barn A and 22 horses in Barn B have had one set of negative test (nasal swab and/or blood) . The last febrile horse was removed from Barn A and placed in isolation on March 10, 2021. There have been no clinical horses in Barn B since the start of the outbreak. Five of the nine horses in the isolation barn have tested positive with the last fever reported on Friday March 12, 2021. All horses in isolation are being monitored by the attending veterinarian.
A second round of testing is being planned for the horses in barns A, B and Isolation. The management and staff of the premises continue to implement enhanced biosecurity and health monitoring protocols including multiple daily temperature recordings. Additionally, these enhanced measures have been implemented at other sanctioned training facilities in Kentucky.
Staff from the Office of the State Veterinarian continue to closely monitor the situation.Appropriate biosecurity and other safeguards are fully implemented at Turfway Park. Updates will continue to be provided as information is learned.
March 12, 2021
Results of the PCR testing conducted on samples collected Thursday were reported Thursday evening and did identify 5 additional EHV1 positive horses (neuropathogenic strain). Two of the horses had been previously moved to the separate isolation barn, and we did relocate the additional three positive horses to isolation last night as well. With the 5 additional positive horses, our population of potentially exposed horses grew and samples are being collected and submitted from each of those 25 horses later this afternoon with results expected to be available over the weekend.
We appreciate the commitment, effort, and resources Blackwood’s management, horse owners, horsemen and attending veterinarians have provided. Biosecurity and health monitoring protocols that include temping horses multiple times daily have and will continue to be practiced by horsemen at Blackwell. These same procedures and protocols have been adopted and are routinely practiced by other training venues as well. State Animal Health Officials and attending veterinary practitioners are working together and following-up with testing of any horse suggesting evidence of an infectious condition. These combined efforts have helped us identify affected horses, thus better enabling us to mitigate further transmission and aide our ability to ensure we have safe and healthy environments for our horses and horsemen to continue normal operations within the Commonwealth.
Index Case Update: Following a period of stability, the index case rapidly deteriorated and has been euthanized.
Other Guidance: Clearly, with the multiple ongoing EHV1 events involving multiple breeds, disciplines, and venues; Farms accepting new arrivals are to be reminded the IMPORTANCE of knowing the environment and status of where the horse arriving their farm originated and implementing needed husbandry practices that should include isolation, observation and assessment of the horse to insure healthy horses are introduced to your herd.
While our investigation of the KY event as well as monitoring of disease events in other states continues, Kentucky State Veterinarian Dr. Katie Flynn and I will be providing further updates as information becomes available.
March 11, 2021
Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) has been confirmed in a 3yo thoroughbred filly in Woodford County, Kentucky.
The filly reportedly had a fever on Saturday, and was referred to a veterinary hospital in Lexington Tuesday evening after becoming unstable and ataxic.
The Kentucky State Veterinarians Office was alerted of the suspected EHV case on Tuesday night and the training facility was placed under restriction pending completion of diagnostic testing.PCR Testing conducted at Equine Diagnostic Solutions in Lexington, KY reported the neuropathogenic strain of EHV1 was detected from the nasal swab.
Animal Health Officials have been present at the facility, previously imposed restrictions remain in place, and 27 exposed horses had samples (nasal swabs and whole blood) collected earlier today and submitted for PCR Testing.
The horse was reported last night as showing signs of improvement.
There is no connection to any other EHV1 incidents
In addition to the affected premises, precautionary measures have been implemented at Turfway Park (live race meet) with all horses shipping in to race being required to stable in the receiving barn – unless trainer has permanently assigned stalls at Turfway. In addition to adjustment of stabling, biosecurity protocols have been elevated. The KY State Veterinarians office has personnel onsite examining health documents and coordinating efforts with the Ky Horse Racing Commission’s staff.
Updates will be provided as information is learned.
CLICK HERE for a memo regarding Parx Racing Quarantine
2018 Kentucky EHV-1 Investigations Summary
Releasing EHV1 Quarantines/Restrictions in Racing and/or Training Environments
The protocol we follow is established and implemented to manage the disease event, mitigate further disease transmission, while continuing enabling us to maintain operational normalcy in a safe and effective manner. The foundation we work from requires the barn’s last exposure to clinical cases being greater than 14 days (adjusted upwards if warranted) and the barns entire population testing negative by PCR on both nasal swab and whole blood buffy coat. Our opinion is that utilizing daily monitoring, defined time from last exposure, and having those findings supported by diagnostic testing that demonstrates the population is negative are essential to mitigating the risk associated with disease events in environments such as these. This protocol has worked well for us in the past and we appreciate the commitment, cooperation and diligence provided by all horsemen in response to efforts to manage disease risk as efficiently as possible.
THE THOROUGHBRED CENTER UPDATES
March 14, 2018
Race Tracks/Training Facilities Cleared.
We did earlier report Barns 3 and 30 were released from quarantine following our protocol of no known exposure to clinical cases in greater than fourteen (14) days, daily monitoring of the horses in each barn, and the barn’s population testing negative by PCR. I am today able to report Barn 7 (the barn we had used to quarantine and isolate horses that had been identified EHV-1 positive by PCR Testing) is now clear and we are in the process of cleaning and disinfecting this barn. With no positive horses remaining on the grounds, we have given the all clear to TTC’s management by announcing there are no barns or horses at TTC under quarantine for EHV. All associated movement and training restrictions previously imposed are now rescinded. Additionally, with removal of this quarantine at TTC, we have no racing or training facilities in KY under quarantine.
March 8, 2018
BARN 30 at The Thoroughbred Center (TTC) in Lexington is tonight Released From Quarantine.
Results of testing on samples collected from horses in Barn 30 at The Thoroughbred Center have been reported negative. In addition to the testing that has been completed, the horses have been monitored daily and our findings support that it has been far greater than 14 days since any horse in the barn had opportunity of exposure to a EHV clinical case. Meeting the criteria described above has qualified the group to be released from the quarantine and other restrictions imposed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
The horses previously testing positive that haven’t yet been resolved, continue to be housed separate and apart from the general population while we continue our assessments and testing to resolve those horses individually before allowing their return and reintroduction to the general population.
March 7, 2018
BARN 3 at The Thoroughbred Center (TTC) in Lexington is Released From Quarantine.
Results of testing on the samples collected from each of the horses in Barn 3 at The Thoroughbred Center have been reported negative. In addition to the testing that has been completed, the horses have been monitored daily and our findings support that it has been greater than 14 days since any horse in the barn was last exposed to a clinical case. Meeting the criteria above has qualified the group and the horses in barn 3 to be released from quarantine and restrictions imposed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.
Barn 30 at TTC: We are continuing daily monitoring of the horses stabled in Barn 30. There have been no fevers or other symptoms in the group, and we have scheduled the horses in Barn 30 to be sampled (swabs and whole blood) and tested by PCR later this week.
March 3, 2018
Biosecurity, implemented at Alert Status, remains in effect.
Barn 3: There have been no new fevers or other clinical evidence of disease since the initial febrile horse on 2/13.
The horses residing in this barn continue to be considered ‘Exposed’ (having had positive horses removed and placed in quarantine at barn 7).
The horses that initially test negative are allowed onto the track for restricted and suprervised exercise during specific time allotments when no other horses are out.
Our plan is to assess and resample horses residing in Barn 3 next week.
Barn 7 continues to serve as our Positive Horse Isolation. These horses remain in the barn, hand walked in the shed row and are assessed and tested as scheduled.
Barn 30: There have been no fever or other clinical evidence of disease since the initial febrile horse on 2/15.
The horses residing in this barn continue to be considered ‘Exposed’ (having had positive horses removed and placed in the designated quarantine at barn 7).
The horses that initially test negative are allowed onto the track for restricted and suprervised exercise during specific time allotments when no other horses are out.
Our plan is to assess and resample horses residing in Barn 30 late next week.
Below does describe the protocol followed in Kentucky when releasing barns from quarantine at race tracks, training facilities and other similar venues.
Our protocol is established and implemented to manage the disease event and mitigate further disease transmission. The foundation we work from requires the barn’s last exposure to clinical cases being greater than 14 days (adjusted upwards if warranted) and the barns entire population testing negative by PCR on both nasal swab and whole blood buffy coat. Our opinion is that utilizing daily monitoring, defined time from last exposure, and having those findings supported by diagnostic testing that demonstrates the population is negative are essential to mitigating the risk associated with disease events in environments such as these. This protocol has worked well for us in the past and we appreciate the commitment, cooperation and diligence provided by all horsemen in response to efforts to manage disease risk as efficiently as possible.
February 17, 2018
On Friday, February 16th, Barn 30 (in addition to Barn 3 that was quarantined earlier this week, and Barn 7 that we are using to house positive horses) at the Thoroughbred Center (TTC) in Lexington was placed under Order of Quarantine following a horse in that barn being confirmed positive for EHV-1 ‘wild type’. The 3yo thoroughbred filly tested PCR Positive on both nasal swab and blood.
The patient, after presenting with a fever, was moved from the barn into isolation and precautionary measures implemented on Thursday evening. With the confirmation of EHV-1 on Friday, Barn 30 was quarantined, perimeter fencing to control movement in and around the barn area erected, guarded security placed on the barn and biosecurity procedures implemented at ALERT status.
Earlier today, Saturday, February 17, representatives from the Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian (Dr. Stout and I), The Thoroughbred Center’s management and horsemen met to share the factual information and provide opportunity for a Question and Answer session. Additionally, in consultation with management at Turfway Park, a protocol has been developed that can allow horses from the non-affected barn areas at The Thoroughbred Center (to include horses that ship-in to train/work at TTC) to enter for racing at Turfway beginning on Thursday, February 22. Protocols will include a thorough veterinary examination made on the morning of the day’s racing; and if determined the horse meets entry requirements (that includes negative EIA, current EHV-1 vaccination, normal body temperature, etc.) a health certificate is to be issued for the movement. Horses from The Thoroughbred Center will ship to Turfway Park and stable in the designated area and assigned stall in the receiving barn. Following the night’s racing the horses will return to The Center. The measures allowing this movement for racing is made after our horsemen here in Kentucky at both The Thoroughbred Center and Turfway Park have demonstrated their individual and collective commitment of serving and ensuring all possible precautions are taken to ensure Kentucky’s racing environment remains a healthy and viable environment.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarians Office will continue to have presence at both The Thoroughbred Center and Turfway Park and will make updates available as warranted.
February 14, 2018
The Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian has confirmed a diagnosis of Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 to be affecting horses housed in barn 3 at The Thoroughbred Center in Lexington. The index case was reported on Tuesday evening 2/13 after a horse that had presented with fever of unknown origin was sampled and results of PCR testing identified the horse to be positive for EHV-1 ‘wild type’ on both nasal wash and whole blood. The barn was immediately secured with no horses being allowed to move into or out of the barn. In addition to securing the barn with 24 hour guard assignment, a sanitizing area outside the barn’s entrance has been established and all individuals entering and leaving the barn must properly clean and disinfect and dispose of personal protective clothing that is provided on entry into the barn.
The affected barn’s population is currently comprised of eighteen (18) horses including the index case. Two (2) horses that moved out of the barn prior to the discovery are currently in isolation on a private farm. We have this evening emptied and secured a barn at The Thoroughbred Center and will be dedicating this barn to serve as the quarantine barn used to isolate the positive horses.
Samples collected from the exposed horses earlier today have been partially reported, and has identified six (6) additional positive cases. Five (5) horses were positive on nasal swab only and one was positive on both blood and nasal swab. In addition to the horses exposed in the barn, the outriders have been sampled and they too were reported negative.
Dr. Stout was on the grounds this morning, and I this evening. After assessing the environment, we continue to be of the shared opinion that the procedures and protocols put in place are being properly implemented and do provide us opportunity to contain the virus. Updates will be provided as new information is learned.
TURFWAY PARK UPDATES
March 7, 2018
Racing at Turfway Park continues uninterrupted.
Regarding horses shipping onto the Turfway Backside: Our protocol regarding stabling of horses shipping in to race remains unchanged. 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. Trainers electing to stable in their assigned stalls do understand and agree to comply with our directive that the horses stabled with the general population are required to remain on the grounds for the defined period of time (currently 7 days). All horses entering the stabling area are required to present valid certificates (EIA and Health Certificate) qualifying the horse’s entry onto the backside. The Health Certificate must include statements that demonstrate a valid EHV-1 vaccination history.
March 1, 2018
Barn 14 at Turfway Park is Released From Quarantine.
Results of testing from the population of horses in the quarantined barn at Turfway Park have been reported negative. In addition to the testing that has been completed, it has been greater than 14 days since the population was last exposed to a clinical case. Horses in the barn are under no further restrictions and may resume to training with the general population. With the release of this barn, there are no barns under restriction or quarantine at Turfway Park Race Course in Florence, KY.
Horses that had previously tested positive do remain under regulatory monitoring and are in quarantine off site.
Racing at Turfway continues uninterrupted.
Regarding horses shipping onto the Turfway Backside: Our protocol regarding stabling of horses shipping in to race is unchanged at this point in time. 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. Trainers electing to stable in their assigned stalls do understand and will comply with our directive that the horses stabled with the general population are required to remain on the grounds for the defined period of time (currently 7 days).
All horses entering the stabling area are required to present valid certificates (EIA and Health Certificate) qualifying the horse’s entry onto the backside. The Health Certificate must include statements that demonstrate a valid EHV-1 vaccination history.
February 14, 2018
There have been no fevers nor any other evidence of illness reported in the quarantine barn at Turfway Park, and going through the barn last night, I did observe the population as being bright, alert, eating and with no evidence of illness. I plan to be back on the backside and in the barn tomorrow evening as well.
Our plan is to collect samples (nasal swabs and whole blood) from each of the horses in the quarantine barn next week that could potentially qualify the quarantine and other restrictions to be released.
Will keep you updated as new information becomes available.
February 7, 2018
Both of the horses that had tested positive yesterday have since been removed from the grounds and are in isolation at a private facility.
The horses that had moved from the quarantine barn prior to restrictions being implemented have all been sampled and testing completed. Each horse has been reported negative by PCR on both nasal swabs and whole blood, and do remain in isolation.
There have been no fevers or other evidence of illness reported in the quarantine barn and going through the barn this evening. I did observe the population as being bright, alert and eating.
February 6, 2018
Results of PCR testing conducted by the University of Kentucky’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory on the 26 horses stabled in the quarantine barn have identified 2 additional horses to be affected with Equine Herpesvirus Type-1, the remaining 24 horses all tested negative on both nasal swab and whole blood. One of the two positive horses was found positive on both nasal swab and in the buffy coat, the second being positive only on the nasal swab. Arrangements are underway for these two horses, along with the non-thoroughbred in the barn, to be removed from the backside and into isolation off the grounds.
February 5, 2018
Samples (nasal swabs and whole blood) were collected and submitted to the University of Kentucky’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory from each of the 26 horses (25 thoroughbred and 1 other) stabled in the quarantine barn. Results of this testing are expected to be available on Tuesday afternoon (2/6).
February 2, 2018
On Friday morning (2/2), the Kentucky Department Agriculture was advised of a horse being discovered down in the stall and unable to rise. The barn was immediately locked down meaning nothing in or out. Diagnostic samples (nasal swabs and whole blood buffy coat) were collected and submitted for EHV testing. Results of this testing were reported EHV-1 positive ‘wild type’ on both the nasal swab and buffy coat giving clear evidence of the virus’ presence. The patient’s condition continued to worsen, resulting in euthanasia, and submission of the carcass to UK’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for necropsy.
With the diagnosis of this patient being affected with an active EHV-1 with neurologic deficit, an official Order of Quarantine was issued and biosecurity on the affected barn was raised to Alert Status – restricting entry of persons to only those having an essential task and with proper biosecurity measures implemented. Each individual departing the quarantine area is directed to leave their protective outerwear in the quarantine, cleaning/disinfecting on exit and movement to any other area with equine prohibited. Security personnel are assigned to supervise and record all movement of personnel. No movement of horses into or out of the quarantine barn is permitted without KDA approval.
Kentucky Office of State Veterinarian, Kentucky Horse Racing Officials, Track Management, attending veterinarians shared information and horsemen were invited to attend an information sharing meeting on Saturday morning to ensure factual information is available to them.
KDA officials have and will continue to have presence on the backside. Following is a summary of the actions we have taken, implemented and the monitoring activity in place.
Kentucky’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 to conduct live racing. There are currently no horses on the backside that have tested positive to EHV. Movement within and around the affected barn is heavily regulated with 24-hour security. Additional strategies include control and oversight of horse movement onto and off the track, restrict in/out ship-ins to the receiving barn and/or the stakes barn directly to stalls assigned by the race secretary and stable manager, 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. Additionally, veterinary practitioners, racing officials, track management and representatives of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture maintain a constant and open line of communication.
1. The population in the quarantined barn (40 stalls) is comprised of 25 equine, 4 stalls with stacked straw and shaving, 11 boxes empty or holds miscellaneous tack/equipment/supplies.
2. Horses from the quarantine barn will be permitted to exercise during established times when no other horses are on the grounds. An outrider dedicated to work this training session will be scheduled.
3. In addition to the population in the quarantine barn, horses with potential exposure were traced to two additional premises – and they too are being monitored and the exposure evaluated.
To qualify for releasing the quarantine.
The protocol we follow, and horsemen accept, is to use daily monitoring and diagnostic testing. The affected horse was euthanized and removed from the barn Friday night, we are currently Day 1 monitoring from last known exposure. The testing schedule is currently being coordinated – prior to restrictions being released the barn’s entire population will complete a minimum period of 14 days post exposure with no evidence of EHV illness/infection and all horses testing negative on both nasal swab and buffy coat.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture’s Office of State Veterinarian will keep you apprised and updated as new facts are established. Additionally, we will be making notification/update to the general public a bit later this afternoon.
E.S. Rusty Ford
Equine Operations Consultant
Office of State Veterinarian
2017 Kentucky EHV-1 Summaries