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APHA News Update: EHV-1 Outbreak

APHA understands the recent outbreak of the Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) has caused considerable concern among horse owners across the country. As it is of utmost importance to provide information and resources to aid our members in making informed decisions APHA has created a new “Health Update” website resource. This area contains a variety of reference documents, a current list of APHA sanctioned shows and events which have been cancelled or postponed, as well as a resource list with U.S. State animal health organization contacts and a Canadian reference. That website can be accessed at: http://www.apha.com/healthupdates

About EHV-1
Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHV-1) can be a serious disease of horses that can cause abortion and death. Clinical signs include high fever, neurological symptoms and nasal discharge. The virus can spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands. EHV-1 is a strain of the neurological variation of Rhino and there is currently no vaccine for it. The virus can be contagious among horses, but is NOT transmittable to humans.
While a recent disease outbreak of EHV-1 has been traced to horses who attended the National Cutting Horse Associations’ Western National Championships in Odgen, Utah on April 30 – May 8, 2011, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) says the outbreak is affecting an unconfirmed number of horses across the United States and Canada.

APHA advises members to become familiar with the symptoms of EHV-1 and rigorously monitor their horses’ health. Should any symptoms occur it is strongly advised to contact a veterinarian immediately.

APHA Shows & Travel
APHA is not mandating that any APHA sanctioned show or event be cancelled, and is confident that all show and event managers will make the best decision for the health of participating horses. It is highly recommended that members planning to attend a show or event verify that an event is continuing to be held prior to proceeding with travel. A current list of cancelled APHA sanctioned events that have been verified by APHA are available on the Health Update website: http://www.apha.com/healthupdates/cancelledshows.

Upon verification of cancellation of any APHA sanctioned event, APHA is posting cancellations on Facebook and Twitter.

Due to fluidity of the situation and the inability to predict the long-term impact of this outbreak, APHA is continuing to monitor the situation closely and will provide notification at a later date regarding updates or changes that affect the AjPHA World Championship Show in Fort Worth, Texas (June 24-July 2).

For information on how EHV-1 impacts inter- and intra-state equine travel consult with your local and/or state veterinarian on this issue.