Wellington Equine Herpes Outbreak Update
A meeting of all the area veterinarians was held last night chaired by Dr. Mike Short from the State of Florida Dept of Agriculture. Here is a synopsis of the current situation in the State of Florida according to his data:
4 deaths associated with this outbreak
9 cases with neurological symptoms
8 confirmed positive cases
8 premises currently under quarantine
Good feedback from all the veterinarians was shared regarding the criteria for dealing with some fevers of unknown origin and proper test sampling techniques. It is recommended that when testing we always sample both the nasal swabs and plasma buffy coat for PCR. Virus isolation is not recommended. We also now have access to testing labs at Michigan State and Cornell University.
All the veterinarians were comfortable with the fact that it appears this outbreak is contained to the areas currently under quarantine. They also were in favor of recommending to clients not yet here, that shipments of horses into Wellington should be safe after Christmas. The horse shows should be able to safely begin after the first of the year. These recommendations could change if new cases with a high or dangerous risk are found outside the quarantine areas.
There have been NO new confirmed positive cases of EHV-1 in Wellington outside of the current quarantine areas. A Positive test result has come back on one horse in the Palm Beach Equine Clinic quarantine area. This horse has been isolated since 12.14.06.
A horses at the Equine Sports Complex which first developed a fever on 12.16.2006, (associated with the positive case currently at Reid and Associates quarantine area), became acutely neurologic and died on 12.21 2006. The tests results are expected back for this horse in a day or two.
The S&L or Innisfree barn on Southfields road is now under State quarantine.
There are several horses with fevers of unknown origin which are being isolated and have been tested for the virus. We are waiting for these results and will inform everyone should any of these come back positive.
Everyone is doing a very good job of following the biosecurity measures previously discussed. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to call your veterinarian ASAP.
Keep in mind also that this virus requires a 35-45 foot area or distance to prevent its spread through the air. It cannot travel long distances on the wind!
I think we should continue to watch for any fever of unknown origin and report anything unusual, but we should be fine as long as we follow good management.