Equine Herpes Virus outbreak has forced the cancellation of FEI Events in Europe until 28 March. This is a very aggressive strain of the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus. The strain originated in Spain and has already resulted in outbreaks in other EU countries. This strain has caused severe illness and death in some horses that have contracted it. Cornell microbiologists discovered that a single amino acid variation in an enzyme that is part of the DNA copying process of EHV-1 creates a different type of EHV-1, which causes the neurological disorders in horses.
The news is worrying enough but with Tokyo preparations underway this outbreak and the resulting restrictions will cause disruption to training plans and is a worrying time for the industry. Another concern is the time of year as mares in foal can have abortions if they contract it.
Signs of Neurological Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)
- Horses may be seen to lean against a wall or fence to maintain their balance.
- Horses with EHV are likely to be lethargic.
- Horses may be unable to get up.
- Horses show difficulty with coordination and balance.
We will be covering Equine Herpes Virus in more detail with a full article in the coming days.