According to a recent Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) alert, a 2-year old filly was referred from a Northern KY equine facility (Oldham Co) to a Lexington area hospital for evaluation of a potential neurologic disease. The examining veterinarian noticed evidence of urine dripping, suspected an infectious disease, and reported the concern to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA).


The filly was isolated and samples were collected which were confirmed positive for the neuropathogenic strain of EHV-1 that same evening. The facility was quarantined by KDA personnel. On 1/5/17, horses (14) in the ‘affected’ wing of the barn were sampled by nasal swab and whole blood as were 3 horses in the second wing that had been preparing to ship interstate. These samples were received at Equine Diagnostic Solutions Lexington laboratory on Thursday night 1/5/2017.

On the morning of 1/6/2017 a horse in the second wing spiked a fever >103 degrees. Nasal swabs and whole blood were collected. The laboratory reported 2 of the 14 horses on Side 1 and the febrile horse on Side 2 were also positive for the neuropathogenic EHV-1. The remaining horses on the premises were sampled with results expected sometime on Monday.

All equine moved from the facility since mid-December have been traced, located and are being individually assessed and tested following KDA defined protocol. There has been no movement to any KY racing/training facility. Two horses that had left the facility in late December and traveled to a track outside of Kentucky have been located are now isolated, and samples have been collected and submitted for EHV-1 testing.

On 1/7/2017, the initial horse has been reported as improved, and is preparing to be discharged from the hospital and moved to a private facility where it will remain in isolation. The positive horses from the index facility have been moved to a designated isolation area. The horses on the facility continue to be monitored closely, temperatures taken multiple times during the day, and any horse presenting evidence of illness suggestive of a viral infection (including fever) will be isolated and tested. There have been no fevers or other abnormalities reported on 1/7/2017. Management at the facility is cooperating fully and is committed to containing and effectively managing the disease. Updates will be provided when warranted.