The Equine Herpes Virus-1 or EHV-1 has been recently publicized this year due to a regional outbreak in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa. This update is provided in order to help educate our exhibitors and address their concerns.
The current research indicates that the EHV-1 virus can be present in most horses by the time they are one year old, but that it remains inactive or latent. If the virus becomes active at a later date, generally respiratory symptoms including nasal discharge and a fever occur. In rare cases the virus is able to mutate and cause severe symptoms such as fetal abortion and neurological impairment. The virus is easily transmitted from horse to horse via contact with nasal discharge, but can survive on surfaces for up to 72 hours. Most cases occur in young horses. Veterinarians recommend that every horse has its temperature checked everyday while at a show, and the horse be examined if its temperature is greater than 101.5 degrees F.
We encourage everyone to do their own research and consult with their Veterinarians. Most Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital websites are a very good resource. There have been no confirmed cases in our local area, nor in the state. Our sincere wish is that accurate information will allow you to make the best decision for your equine athlete.