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March 15, 2019 at 7:44 PM UPDATE: The State Veterinarian is recommending all southern Nevada equine events scheduled for this weekend (including Pahrump) be postponed
LAS VEGAS, Nev.March 15, 2019 – One positive case of equine herpes virus type 1 (EHV-1) with neurologic signs has been reported in Clark County, and the Nevada Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. JJ Goicoechea has ordered a quarantine. There is no public health risk, therefore, details about the facility will not be released per NRS 571.160.
“I have issued this quarantine to help prevent the spread of disease during equine event season in Nevada and surrounding states,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “Equine Herpes Virus-1 can cause respiratory disease in young horses, abortions in pregnant mares and neurologic disease in older horses.”
Horses at the Nevada State Junior/High School Rodeo that took place Feb. 22-24 in Pahrump may have been exposed and should be monitored for signs of disease, such as fever, cough or runny nose.
The average incubation period for EHV-1 is four to seven days, but some may take up to 14 days. Eight to 12 days after infection first appears, neurological disease may occur.
EHV-1 is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the Nevada Department of Agriculture, per NRS 571.160. A list of reportable diseases can be found at agri.nv.gov.
State veterinarian says: monitor horses, practice biosecurity
“I urge all horse owners to monitor their horses closely, taking temperatures twice daily and seeking veterinarian care for any fevers over 102 degrees,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “It is especially important to practice biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading disease.”
Biosecurity means doing everything possible to reduce chances of an infectious disease being transferred by people, animals, equipment or vehicles. EHV-1 and other diseases can be easily transferred on boots, coats, gloves and equipment. Some basic practices include:
- Never share equipment between horses, and always wear clean clothes when going from ill horses to others.
- Always start chores at healthy horses, and end with sick or recovering (within 30 days) horses.
- Avoid common areas such as hitching rails, wash racks, etc. during an outbreak.
The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) promotes a business climate that is fair, economically viable and encourages a sustainable environment that serves to protect food, fiber and human health and safety through effective service and education. The NDA includes the divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry.