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Equine herpes quarantine lifted

Published: Tuesday, April 9 2013 11:21 a.m. MDT

The State Veterinarian's Office has lifted all quarantines that have been in place since the Equine Herpes Virus was discovered in Cache County in late February. No other counties were affected by this outbreak.

Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — The State Veterinarian's Office has lifted all quarantines that have been in place since the Equine Herpes Virus was discovered in Cache County in late February. No other counties were affected by this outbreak.

The quarantine removals come after the last two horses at locations in the county have passed a 28-day waiting period without becoming sick after coming in contact with diseased horses.

There had been a total of nine confirmed cases of EHV-1 in Utah, all of which were confined to five different locations in Cache County. The State Veterinarian's Office restricted the movement of infected and suspect animals as a precaution to prevent the spread of the disease.

Four of the affected horses were humanely euthanized because of their condition. The Cache County Fairgrounds Horse Arena was temporarily closed during this outbreak because the affected horses had been at the facility shortly before coming down with symptoms. It is suspected that a common tie-down rail at the Arena was contaminated by an infected horse and was the center of the outbreak.

State Veterinarian Dr. Bruce King is reminding horse owners that the virus is dormant in many horses, and symptoms may surface due to stress or contact with infected horses. He said it is always recommended that horse owners practice good biosecurity when taking their animals to equine events.

Horse owners should feel confident that they can attend upcoming events with no more risk of contracting the disease than before the recent outbreak. King encouraged horse owners to visit the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food's website at www.ag.utah.gov for up-to-date information on proper biosecurity.

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