'No cause for alarm’: Horse euthanized in Blacksburg after developing contagious disease

Virus not dangerous for most horses, not transmissible to humans


BLACKSBURG, Va. – Veterinarians euthanized a horse in Blacksburg on Monday after it developed a neurologic disease.

The horse suffered from a form of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy, which is caused by Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1).

The virus is present in the environment and found in most horses around the world.

There is no reason for horse owners to be concerned, because most horses carry the virus with no clinical signs, according to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Horses typically are exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. Rarely, exposed horses develop the neurologic form of the disease.

The horse was admitted to the Virginia Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine large animal hospital in Blacksburg on Sunday, where its condition deteriorated.

All exposed horses at the hospital were immediately isolated and placed under quarantine with strict biosecurity protocol.

Quarantined horses are being monitored for signs of the disease.

The hospital is still open.

EHV-1 is not transmissible to humans.

Horse owners with concerns should contact their veterinarian. Learn more here.

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