Outbreak Alert – EHV-1


 A case of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) was recently reported in Auburn, Washington. EHV-1 has been associated with causing respiratory disease, abortions, neonatal disease and neurological disease (EHM-equine herpes myeloencephalopathy).1

EHV-1 is usually spread through coughing or sneezing.2 Direct horse-to-horse contact, as well as contact with contaminated feed, equipment, clothing and tack, can also spread the disease.2 In addition, once a horse is infected, the virus can become latent for the rest of the horse's life.2,3 Then, often during times of stress, the virus emerges, which puts other horses at risk for infection..1,2,3

Given no vaccine has a labeled indication to protect against the neurologic form of EHV-1,3 taking appropriate biosecurity measures can help prevent exposure and the spread of the disease.3 These measures include:3

  • Don't share tack
  • Clean and disinfect your horse trailer after transporting horses other than your own
  • Provide appropriate food, water and shelter to minimize stress on your horses
  • Quarantine new horses for at least 30 days before introducing them to your existing herd
  • If your horse exhibits any neurologic signs, contact your veterinarian immediately


For more information about equine diseases, talk with your veterinarian and go to www.outbreak-alert.com, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim.

Merial is now part of Boehringer Ingelheim. ©2018 Merial, Inc., Duluth, GA. All rights reserved. EQU-0595-GEN0418-A

1 Facts About Equine Herpes Virus. University of Saskatchewan. Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Available at: https://www.usask.ca/vmc/news/2016/key-facts-about-equine-herpes-virus.php . Accessed February 27, 2018.
2 Lenz TR. EHV-1 Outbreaks. 2003. Available at: https://aaep.org/horsehealth/ehv-1-outbreaks. Accessed February 27, 2018.
3 Rood KA, Rogers LE. Neurologic Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). Cooperative Extension. Utah State University. 2008. Available at: https://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/publication/AG_Equine_2008-03pr.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2018.        

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