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Two Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) Cases Confirmed in Benton County

February 9, 2024

Two Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) Cases Confirmed in Benton County

According to the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), two horses from a Benton County facility tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) on February 5, 2024, with one of those horses testing positive for the neurologic form of the virus. While the neurologic form of the virus was confirmed in at least one horse, no horses at the facility currently exhibit neurologic signs. Oregon Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed samples for both horses. EHV-1 is a reportable disease, and veterinarians are legally responsible for immediately reporting all suspected cases to the ODA.

The ODA State Veterinarian has quarantined the facility where the affected horses reside. ODA veterinarians have completed an epidemiologic investigation with the cooperation of private veterinarian facility owners and managers. Currently, there are no known exposures outside the facility by symptomatic horses.

All horse owners who believe their horse may have been exposed to EHV-1 should monitor their animal’s temperature twice daily and call their veterinarian if they see any symptoms. The EHV-1 virus is highly contagious and is spread via aerosolized secretions from infected coughing horses, by direct and indirect contact with nasal secretions, and fetal fluids. EHV-1 typically has an incubation period of 2-10 days. Respiratory shedding of the virus generally occurs for 7-10 days but may persist longer in infected horses.

Following basic biosecurity practices is important in reducing the risk of exposure to all contagious equine diseases. Basic biosecurity measures to follow to decrease potential disease spread at equine events include:

  • Limit horse-to-horse contact 
  • Limit horse-to-human-to-horse contact
  • Avoid the use of communal water sources 
  • Avoid sharing equipment unless thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between uses 
  • Isolate new or returning horses from others for 30 days 
  • Monitor your horse for clinical signs of disease and report any temperature over 102°F to a veterinarian 
  • More information on this case is available online through the Equine Disease Communication Center.

Source: ODA