NYS Dept. of Agriculture Closely Monitoring EHV-1 Situation in Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — MAR. 1, 12013 — The NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets, Division of Animal Industry is closely monitoring the situation in Florida involving the diagnosis of several EHV-1 positive horses linked to a horse show in Ocala, FL. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is posting daily updates on their website regarding this situation. You can follow their daily updates at: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/ai/.

At this time, there are no known cases in NY connected to the shows in FL but this could change at any time. We need NY horse owners and equine veterinarians to be extra vigilant at this time if they know of horses that have been to shows in the Ocala area or from the exposed premises [listed in the FL press releases-see link above]since February 5th and have returned back to NY. If they have been to any of these quarantined premises or have been to the Ocala area during this time, they need to do the following:

  • isolate these animals from other animals upon returning home
  • take temperatures twice daily
  • look for neurologic signs, respiratory signs, loss of bladder tone (urine dribbling) or poor tail tone
  • if any of these signs are seen, they need to call their vet immediately and then call the NYS Dept of Agriculture and Markets (518-457-3502).

For more information on EHV-1, please visit: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/ or the http://www.aaep.org/images/files/EquineHerpesvirusFinal022513.pdf.

All horse farms should exercise a heightened state of biosecurity if horses have travelled from unknown places. A good reference for biosecurity tips can be found at: http://www.aaep.org/pdfs/control_guidelines/Biosecurity_instructions%201.pdf.

Horses quarantined in Florida due to EHV-1/EHM are not allowed for interstate movement into NY at this time. If you have any questions, please contact our Division of Animal Industry Office at 518-457-3502.

The NYS Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University is an American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) accredited lab, and a federally recognized member of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN). The lab is capable of running EHV-1 RT-PCR testing. Samples from febrile or ill horses should include: Nasal swabs and EDTA whole blood. These swabs should be collected from the affected horse by rolling the swab on the mucosa of the nares as far into the nasal pharyngeal area as possible. Place swab in plain red top tube with 1-2 drops of sterile saline. Ship both blood and nasal swabs chilled for overnight delivery. STAT testing is available, but contact lab prior to request if possible. If any questions call Dr. Mittel or the VSS veterinarians at: 607-253-3900.

Should the situation in New York change, we will let you know with further updates through the Division of Animal Industry.

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