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Diana asks about EHV-1; equine herpes virus (wants to boost immune system)


Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association



Equine Herpes Cases Reported in MISSISSIPPI

May 10, 2012


The State Veterinarian’s Office was notified on May 9th of two confirmed cases of Equine Herpes Myelitis (EHV).  In addition, four other cases of suspected EHV-1 have also been reported. To date, three of these horses have died or been euthanized and three are ill with neurological disease.  All of the horses recently returned from the Bucksnort Trail Ride held April 23–30 in Humphreys County, Tennessee.  This event drew approximately 100 horses from multiple states.   The Tennessee Department of Agriculture and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture have also reported cases in their state related to this same trail ride.


The ill horses in Mississippi have been isolated and are being treated by their attending veterinarian.   All Mississippi Bucksnort Trail Ride participants are being notified about the situation and the necessity for isolation and monitoring horses taken to the event.  The potential for exposure to other horses is also being evaluated.  At this time, there has been no spread to other horses in Mississippi.


Equine Herpes Virus is highly contagious among horses but poses no threat to humans. The symptoms in horses may include fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine and diminished tail tone. The virus is easily spread by airborne transmission, horse-to-horse contact and by contact with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can spread the virus to horses if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated. The virus can cause aborted foals and can be fatal. 


Horse owners should practice good biosecurity such as using their own trailer and equipment, not letting horses touch other people’s horses, disinfecting shoes and equipment, washing hands after helping others with their horses and limiting access to the farm. A downloadable brochure about horse biosecurity is available from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services at


EHV-1 and Neurological disease in horses are reportable conditions to the State Veterinarian’s office.


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