Tuesday, December 26, 2006

EHV-1 Update Dec 26,2006

It now looks like the current outbreak in So. florida has been very well contained. The thoughts of the FAEP and the State veterinarian is that the Horse Show season will go forth in January. Here is an updated response from the recent meeting.

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.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

EHV-1 Outbreak-----Update Dec 20, 2006

Here is the current update on the situation in Wellington from the FAEP (Florida Association of Equine Practioners ). The FAEP , Univ of Fla and the State Veterinarians have done an outstanding job.

A conference call was held last night between officials from the State of Florida and veterinarians from south, central and north central Florida.

Wellington has had no new cases of neurological disease since the last update on 12.16.2006. There is one neurological horse in Jupiter farms which became symptomatic on 12.18.2006, and one neurologic horse in Ocala which is confirmed positive.

The confirmed positive cases and neurological cases currently being treated (with lab tests still pending), totals eleven. Of those eleven are included one confirmed positive dead horse and four horses which had only fevers and no neurologic symptoms. Another dead horse which had symptoms consistent with the severe neurologic form of this disease, yet was not tested, is also included in the eleven. One of the eleven horses is a positive neurologic horse from the Ocala area which is doing well as of 12.19.2006. This number also includes one neurologic case in Jupiter farms for which the test results are expected back from the Kentucky Diagnostic lab on 12.21.2006. This number does not include any cases outside the state of Florida.

Special thanks have to go out to all those veterinarians, both from Wellington and the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for all their help and guidance in the handling of this outbreak. Wellington would also like to thank the official veterinarians from the State of Florida who have been here also working to contain this outbreak.

All horse owners need also to be commended for their patience and compliance with the restrictions and protocols imposed on Wellington. We typically see fevers of unknown origin and also some post vaccination fevers. Most of these are scattered and, for horses that are have no link to EHV-1 confirmed horses are unlikely to be EHV-1 cases. As many of you already know, horses can have increased fevers for many other reasons. The key is link to confirmed cases. If your horse has not had contacted with cases of EHV-1, there is no reason to assume that it is EHV-1. Contact your respective veterinaian accordingly.

There are State quarantines now imposed on the following locations and isolation areas: JN and Company barn, the Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex and exercise track, and the isolation areas at Palm Beach Equine Clinic, Reid and Associates and Dr. Haynes Stevens Equine Services facility.

Future updates will follow as new and relevant information becomes available

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Equine Herpes Virus Outbreak

For those who have not "herd" through the horseshow telegraph ....there has been an outbreak of neurologic herpes virus in South Florida (Wellington ). I have touched on this topic in the past but felt it was important to put up some current data and dispel some of the rumors. NeurologicEHV-1 virus (Rhinopneumonitis), the one that causes respiratory disease and abortions in mares, is the virus that causes the neurologic form. It is one of the typical vaccines we give ( flu/rhino). The respiratory tract is the natural portal of entry for EHV-1 and EHV-4, and the respiratory mucosal epithelium is the primary target tissue for infection [2,28,29]. Respiratory infection is acquired by close physical contact with another horse that is actively shedding infectious virus into its respiratory secretions. Virus-laden droplets generated by forced, high-velocity expirations through the airways (snorting) can produce infective aerosols capable of traveling over short distances (between box stalls, fenced paddocks, etc). The efficiency of aerosol transmission and the consequent capacity for rapid spread of herpesvirus infections are generally less than those exhibited by equine influenza virus. EHV-1 is a herpes virus and like most herpes it can reside in the patients neural tissue for VERY long periods of time to recrudesce or come out during periods of stress. The latent carrier state is critically important to the maintenance and spread of EHV-1 and EHV-4 and to their success as widespread, deeply entrenched pathogens of the horse. Because herpesvirus latency is a reversible state, the latent virus genome may become reactivated to regain its full transcriptional activity with a consequent production of infectious virus. Periodic reactivation of latent EHV-1 and EHV-4 is associated with episodes of stress or corticosteroid administration [26,27]. The stimuli for herpesvirus reactivation are diverse and include surgery, boarding, parturition, prolonged transport, weaning, lactation, inclement weather, and social disruption. Reactivation of the latent herpesviruses may occur in the absence of concurrent clinical signs. Respiratory tract shedding from carrier horses in which latent virus has been reactivated has been documented, and shedding of reactivated virus into the respiratory mucus is often not accompanied by clinical signs [24]. Dr Long at the Univ of Fla recently posted some detailed info through the UF website with details for handling a suspected problem.You will find it and some links at the bottom of this post. The disease are probably a consequence of an infection of the endothelia of small blood vessels, which results in vasculitis and reactive thrombosis. The thrombosis in turn causes impaired microcirculation in affected areas, including oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) and finally neuronal death and neurologic disease. The big problem really,is should we vaccinate in the face of an infection or not. A study in Calif. found vaccinated horses were more likely to develop the neurologic form. However,one recent study from Cornell showed that the Modified live vaccine "Rhinomune" protected against the intra-nasal challenge ,whereas the killed vaccine did not. The vaccine was given in 2 doses 4 weeks prior to the challenge. Since you don't know when your horse might have been exposed this could pose a problem. My current thought on this is as follows. 1. vaccinate 2-3 times yearly with the Mod. Live vaccine. 2. practice good farm hygiene and isolation 3. avoid high risk areas. ( show grounds with a questionable history).
Since we haven't seen EHV-1 in this area this year and if none of your stablemates have been in South Florida, and your horse was appropriately vaccinated this summer,then we should be OK.
Watch for any nasal discharge or horses with a fever and isolate them accordingly and contact us. Read the following info closely and apply the information to your farm as best as possible.

Neurological EHV-1

Outbreak Information

Biosecurity Guidelines

THESE GUIDELINES are adopted from


Ask your veterinarian to download instructions in Spanish from this website!


Remember that an important rule out for neurological disease is rabies; consider neurological horses as rabies suspects

  1. Assign specific individuals to care for affected horses
  2. If this is not possible, work on healthy, exposed, then sick horses last
  3. Use personal protection equipment: gloves, booties, tyvek suit (http://www.galeton.com/tyveksuit.asp)
  4. After handling sick horse: dispose of covering or clothing in lidded trash receptacle. If not disposable, place in container and wash daily with laundry detergent, fully dry.
  5. Wash hands under running water with soap for 15 seconds. Follow up with 62% ethyl alcohol hand gel or foam disinfectant. The latter can be used in place of hand washing.
  6. Caretakers should ideally be provided a changing area so clothing are not worn elsewhere if tyvek suits are not available.

Management Practices:

1. Post restricted access signs in English and Spanish at all perimeter access points.

2. Footbaths and hand sanitizers should be placed at all primary perimeter access points. Separate footwear to isolation barns is highly recommended.

3. Prevent all contact between horses. Cover all mesh with solid barriers consisting of plywood/plastic.

4. Do not allow horses to share water sources; clean buckets daily. Do not submerge hoses in water buckets.

5. Manure and bedding should not be placed in open air. Carts and wheelbarrows should be decontaminated between stalls or separate containers should be used. Do not spread manure on pastures.

6. Do not share equipment. Any shared equipment should be scrubbed and disinfected between use.

7. Any cloth materials should be laundered and dried completely.

8. Do not share medications between horses. Each horses has separate equipment for oral medications. ALWAYS use new needles and syringes for injectables. Wash hands after treating each horse.

Facilities and Trucks

1. Non-porous buildings are highly desirable for quarantine and management.

2. For cleaning wet down all surfaces without spraying. Scrub with brush and powdered laundry detergent or Dawn dish detergent. Let stand under soap for 10 minutes. Rinse with running water-no spray. Squeegee, allow to dry. Clean all aisles and common areas twice daily.

3. Perform same cleaning in wooded barns, however spend extra time removing debris and allow wood to completely dry. Painting wood is a good alternative for sealing wood surfaces.

4. Clean all trailers in same fashion between all loads.

Neurological EHV-1

Outbreak Information

Clinical Signs/Testing

Websites for Information





Contact Information:

Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services; Dr. Michael Short 850-410-0900

Veterinarians with suspect cases of EHV-1 must report to FDACS immediately

Incubation Period: 1 to 10 days, primarily 1-3 days

Viral Shedding: 7-10 days, can be up to 28 days from onset of signs in some instances

Transmission: 1) nose to nose contact 2) people through contamination of hands and equipment 3) inanimate objects such as water buckets, bits, clippers, etc, 4) aborted placenta and fetal tissues.

Neurological horses are capable of shedding high amounts of virus

Environmental Contamination: Herpesviruses are easily inactivated with quaternary ammonium compounds (http://www.answers.com/topic/quaternary-ammonium-compound) or bleach (10%). Hand washing and soap/water washing of equipment will minimize contamination. However, without this, herpesviruses can persist in the environment for a week and sometimes for up to 30 days.

Horses can be clinically normal and still shed virus!

Clinical Signs:

Respiratory signs may be minimal and of short duration.

Increased rectal temperature may be the only clinical sign

Horses can have two fever spikes

The initial rise in rectal temperature is usually mild-101.5 to 102.5°F

After the initial temperature rise, which may be missed, the horse can either be clinical normal, develop respiratory signs of nasal discharge, increased temperature (> 102.5), minimal coughing, can abort if pregnant, or, in a small number of cases develop neurological signs.

Neurological signs: Horses become ataxic (incoordination), inability to empty bladder, and weakness of the tail. Some horses will become completely paralyzed; the prognosis for these horses is poor. In a small number of cases, horses can show abnormal mentation and develop cranial nerve signs. Most horses become mildly to moderately neurologic and stabilize rapidly. The neurologic signs can persist but most horses are normal by 3 to 6 months after onset of clinical signs.

Abortion: pregnant horses can experience spontaneous abortion between 7 days and several months after exposure. The mare will exhibit limited initial signs.


UPON onset of clinical signs (temperature), a nasal swab and a blood sample (purple top tube) should be performed. Nasal shedding can be of short duration.

At this time, the most rapid testing is by PCR.


The test is EHV-1/EHV-4 PCR

Send samples on ice packs (no wet ice!) to:

Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center 859-253-0571

1490 Bull Lea Road

P.O. Box 141125

Lexington, KY 40512-4125

Sunday, December 10, 2006

A memorable Surfin Trip

This past Friday I set up a trip to Typhoon Lagoon in Disney World. Yes, they let you surf there. You can rent the park either before or after they close and jack up a performance wave that is about head high. I had 10 friends lined up for a 5pm start. Beth,myself and surf bud Thompy Taylor were going down in my truck with 3 longboards straped down on the back. Remember this was Friday....the coldest/windiest day so far this year. As we are going over the Buckman bridge we start getting some serious wind and the boards start bobbing up and down in the back. I started slowing down...but to late. The tip of my 9-5 McTavish surftech lifts up and the fact that I'm doing 70mph stands it on end and rips it off the rack sending it cartwheeling down I-295. I watch in horror as it tumbles end over end narrowly missing a doughnut truck and two buddies in the truck behind us. It eventually skids to a stop in the emergency lane so I pull over and run back up the bridge to pick up the pieces. Remember this is the Buckman bridge....a certified NASCAR training site. I get to the board and pick up the board bag and shake it...no rattle, thats a good sign I'm thinking. The wind has to be 30mph up on the top of the span and I have to carry the board back down the bridge next to the concrete retaining wall so the wind doesn't lift us both up and over the the edge into the river. Did I mention just how high up that bridge is . We muscle the board back into the truck and exit the pits at full speed to merge into traffic. I don't have time to go back and get my other board so we just drive on. When we get to the Goon in Orlando my brother-in-law Robert video's the opening of the really beat upboard bag. Amazingly , there is not a scratch or ding on the board, just a ground flat edge on the cutaway fin. I can't believe it. We meet up with Doug Dumont the head guy at the Goon and he set us up. The pool was heated to about 80 degrees and they put a 600,000,000 btu heater blowing on us. We had 100 wave in 3 hours, doing the center peak wave we had 2 guys on each wave so we didn't have to wait to long between rides. Beth was shooting the video from the point and was the real star because she about froze in the wind.
All in all it was a great trip, even with such a rough start. I'm now completely sold on surftechs (epoxy/not fiberglass) my Yater spoon fiberglass board would have been a box of cracker jacks after that trip.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The best Inventions of the past 50 years

Popular Mechanics online recently assembled a panel to decide the best inventions over the last 50 years. I was quite amazed with which ones they chose or didn't choose, as well as when they were invented. Here they are.....go to the link and see the full list.

It marks the official end of humanity's struggle for survival and the beginning of its quest for a really relaxing afternoon. The first wireless remote, designed by Zenith's Eugene Polley, is essentially a flashlight. When Zenith discovers that direct sunlight also can change channels on the remote-receptive TVs, the company comes out with a model that uses ultrasound; it lasts into the 1980s, to the chagrin of many a family dog. The industry then switches to infrared.

In 1945 Raytheon's Percy Spencer stands in front of a magnetron (the power tube of radar) and feels a candy bar start to melt in his pocket: He is intrigued. When he places popcorn kernels in front of the magnetron, the kernels explode all over the lab. Ten years later Spencer patents a "radar range" that cooks with high-frequency radio waves; that same year, the Tappan Stove Co. introduces the first home microwave model.

Enovid, a drug the FDA approves for menstrual disorders, comes with a warning: The mixture of synthetic progesterone and estrogen also prevents ovulation. Two years later, more than half a million American women are taking Enovid--and not all of them have cramps. In 1960 the FDA approves Enovid for use as the first oral contraceptive.

The Boeing 707-120 debuts as the world's first successful commercial jet airliner, ushering in the era of accessible mass air travel. The four-engine plane carries 181 passengers and cruises at 600 mph for up to 5280 miles on a full tank. The first commercial jet flight takes off from New York and lands in Paris; domestic service soon connects New York and Los Angeles.

There's a reason old windowpanes distort everything: They were made by rapidly squeezing a sheet of red-hot glass between two hot rollers, which produced a cheap but uneven pane. British engineer Alastair Pilkington revolutionizes the process by floating molten glass on a bath of molten tin--by nature, completely flat. The first factory to produce usable float glass opens in 1959; an estimated 90 percent of plate glass is still produced this way.

Black and Decker releases its first cordless drill, but designers can't coax more than 20 watts from its NiCd batteries. Instead, they strive for efficiency, modifying gear ratios and using better materials. The revolutionary result puts new power in the hands of DIYers and--thanks to a NASA contract--the gloves of astronauts.

The Unimate, the first programmable industrial robot, is installed on a General Motors assembly line in New Jersey. Conceived by George C. Devol Jr. to move and fetch things, the invention gets a lukewarm reception in the United States. Japanese manufacturers love it and, after licensing the design in 1968, go on to dominate the global market for industrial robots.

Telstar is launched as the first "active" communications satellite--active as in amplifying and retransmitting incoming signals, rather than passively bouncing them back to Earth. Telstar makes real a 1945 concept by science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, who envisioned a global communications network based on geosynchronous satellites. Two weeks after Telstar's debut, President Kennedy holds a press conference in Washington, D.C., that is broadcast live across the Atlantic.

Working as a consultant for General Electric, Nick Holonyak develops the light-emitting diode (LED), which provides a simple and inexpensive way for computers to convey information. From their humble beginnings in portable calculators, LEDs spread from the red light that indicates coffee is brewing to the 290-ft.-tall Reuters billboard in Times Square.

Widespread use of remotely piloted aircraft begins during the Vietnam War with deployment of 1000 AQM-34 Ryan Firebees. The first model of these 29-ft.-long planes was developed in just 90 days in 1962. AQM-34s go on to fly more than 34,000 surveillance missions. Their success leads to the eventual development of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles widely used today.

Robert Moog develops the first electronic synthesizer to make the leap from machine to musical instrument. Moog's device not only generates better sounds than other synthesizers, it can be controlled by a keyboard rather than by punch cards. The subsequent acceptance of electronic music is a crucial step in developing audio technology for computers, cellphones and stereos.

The International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines releases a semi-dwarf, high-yield Indica variety that, in conjunction with high-yield wheat, ushers in the Green Revolution. Indica rice thrives in tropical regions of Asia and South America, raising worldwide production more than 20 percent by 1970.

Randolph Smith and Kenneth House patent a battery-powered smoke detector for home use. Later models rely on perhaps the cheapest nuclear technology you can own: a chunk of americium-241. The element's radioactive particles generate a small electric current. If smoke enters the chamber it disrupts the current, triggering an alarm.

Bell Labs' George Smith and Willard Boyle invent a charge-coupled device (CCD) that can measure light arriving at a rate of just one photon per minute. Smith and Boyle's apparatus allows extremely faint images to be recorded, which is very useful in astronomy. Today, its most noticeable impact is in digital cameras, which rely on CCD arrays containing millions of pixels.

James Russell, a scientist with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, invents the first digital-to-optical recording and playback system, in which sounds are represented by a string of 0s and 1s and a laser reads the binary patterns etched on a photosensitive platter. Russell isn't able to convince the music industry to adopt his invention, but 20 years later, Time Warner and other CD manufacturers pay a $30 million patent infringement settlement to Russell's former employer, the Optical Recording Co.

Bill Bowerman, the track coach at the University of Oregon, sacrifices breakfast for peak performance when he pours rubber into his wife's waffle iron, forming lightweight soles for his athletes' running shoes. Three years later, Bowerman's company, Nike, introduces the Waffle Trainer, which is an instant hit.

Chrysler paves the way for the era of electronic--rather than mechanical--advances in automobiles with the electronic ignition. It leads to electronic control of ignition timing and fuel metering, harbingers of more sophisticated systems to come. Today, these include electronic control transmission shift points, antilock brakes, traction control systems, steering and airbag deployment.

Everyone agrees that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a brilliant invention--but no one agrees on who invented it. The physical effect that MRIs rely on--nuclear magnetic resonance--earns various scientists Nobel Prizes for physics in 1944 and 1952. Many believe that Raymond Damadian establishes the machine's medical merit in 1973, when he first uses magnetic resonance to discern healthy tissue from cancer. Yet, in 2003, the Nobel Prize for medicine goes to Peter Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield for their "seminal discoveries." The topic of who is the worthiest candidate remains hotly debated.

The first satellite in the modern Navstar Global Positioning System (GPS) is launched. (The GPS's precursor, TRANSIT, was developed in the early 1960s to guide nuclear subs.) It is not until the year 2000, though, that President Clinton grants nonmilitary users access to an unscrambled GPS signal. Now, cheap, handheld GPS units can determine a person's location to within 3 yards.

By moving the needle of the scanning tunneling microscope (STM) across a surface and monitoring the electric current that flows through it, scientists can map a surface to the level of single atoms. The STM is so precise that it not only looks at atoms--it also can manipulate them into structures. The microscope's development earns IBM researchers Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer a Nobel Prize and helps launch the emerging era of nanotechnology.

Molecular biologist Alec Jeffreys devises a way to make the analysis of more than 3 billion units in the human DNA sequence much more manageable by comparing only the parts of the sequence that show the greatest variation among people. His method quickly finds its way into the courts, where it is used to exonerate people wrongly accused of crimes and to finger the true culprits.

Biochemist Kary Mullis invents a technique that exploits enzymes in order to make millions of copies of a tiny scrap of DNA quickly and cheaply. No matter how small or dried-out a bloodstain is, forensic scientists can now gather enough genetic material to do DNA fingerprinting. With PCR, doctors also can search for trace amounts of HIV genetic code to diagnose infection much sooner than by conventional methods.

Prozac becomes the first in a new class of FDA-approved antidepressants called "selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors," which block the reabsorption of the mood-elevating neurotransmitter serotonin, thereby prolonging its effects. Though at times controversial, Prozac helps patients cope with clinical depression, reshaping our understanding of how personality and emotion can be chemically controlled. Within five years, 4.5 million Americans are taking Prozac--making it the most widely accepted psychiatric drug ever.

Scientist Craig Venter announces that his company will sequence the entire human genome in just three years and for only $300 million--12 years and $2 billion less than a federally funded project established to do the same thing. Venter uses a method called "shotgun sequencing" to make automated gene sequencers, instead of relying on the laborious approach used by the government program. The result is an acrimonious race to the finish, which ends in a tie. Both groups announce the completion of the human genome sequence in papers published in 2001.

1998--MP3 PLAYER
Depending on who you ask, the MP3 is either the end of civilization (record companies) or the dawn of a new world (everyone else). The Korean company Saehan introduces its MPMan in 1998, long before Apple asks, "Which iPod are you?" When the Diamond Rio hits the shelves a few months later, the Recording Industry Association of America sues--providing massive publicity and a boost to digital technology.

2002--IEEE 802.16
The geniuses at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers publish a wireless metropolitan area network standard that functions like Wi-Fi on steroids. An 802.16 antenna can transmit Internet access up to a 30-mile radius at speeds comparable to DSL and cable broadband. When it all shakes out, 802.16 could end up launching developing nations into the digital age by eliminating the need for wired telecommunications infrastructure.