Augusta County farm quarantined following horse contracts EHM

AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – A horse in Augusta County has been euthanized right after contracting Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), a mutation of Equine Herpes. The Virginia Section of Agriculture and Consumer Solutions has quarantined the farm wherever the horse was and seven other horses that ended up exposed.

“Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy is basically from just one of the herpes viruses recognised as Equine Herpes Virus One and Four. Those people are the two principal variants that can mutate over to EHM which is what all people is most involved about,” claimed Dr. Wynne DiGrassie, owner of Mountain Watch Equine Clinic in Steeles Tavern, VA.

Horses can survive much less extreme situations of EHM but it has a 30% mortality price. Anti-inflammatory medication are from time to time applied to deal with the sickness but there is no cure.

“It’s constantly a huge scare because this is likely a fatal sickness but it’s not as common as people today believe. The initial herpes virus itself, most horses carry it and have it in their overall body,” explained DiGrassie. “It’s just a make a difference of who truly mutates and who will come into make contact with with the mutated virus.”

When EHM is unusual it is extremely contagious.

“Equine herpes virus in typical is just a virus like any other virus out there that is generally a respiratory variety virus that gets distribute by nasal secretions, receives unfold by nose to nose get hold of, sneezing. As nicely as individuals distribute it a large amount,” stated DiGrassie.

Dr. DiGrassie said that people can distribute the disease as a result of make contact with with horses.

“Maybe we go to a different barn, we have not washed our arms, have not washed off our boots, have not changed our clothing. We can distribute it on ourselves which is what they phone fomites, it is just other things like tack, products, brushes, wheelbarrows, all of that things is a further way it can be spread from horse to horse,” she said.

The mutation that results in EHM would make it far much more devastating than typical equine herpes.

“That herpes virus that typically just results in respiratory disorder mutates within the horse and then forms this neurologic form exactly where the horse is type of wobbly, which is what we call ataxia, can not get up on its individual, from time to time they’re dribbling urine, they from time to time go down and simply cannot get back again up,” mentioned DiGrassie.

Other clinical symptoms of EHM include things like a fever, nasal discharge, depression, and a reduction of tail tone.

Dr. DiGrassie pressured the worth of holding horses up to date on their herpes virus vaccine and taking supplemental measures to be mindful of the illness.

“Watch when you carry in new horses to the house. Make sure you quarantine them for at the very least two weeks mainly because horses in situations of anxiety which is typically when this herpes virus is going to rear its unsightly head. So make sure you quarantine horses for a period of time of time when they appear back again to a exhibit or on to a new property,” she said.

VDACS claimed that the farm in Augusta County will be quarantined for 21 times and that the other seven horses will have their temperatures taken twice a working day. It reported so far they have not revealed any indications of EHM.