State warns of equine herpes cases in Geneseo, Canton


    Multiple cases of equine herpes have been confirmed in horses across New York, including Geneseo and Canton. (SBG file photo)

    Albany, N.Y. (WHAM) - Multiple cases of equine herpes have been confirmed in horses across New York, including Geneseo and Canton.

    The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets issued an advisory to any horse owners, boarders and riders to carefully watch for the signs of Equine Herpes Virus Type 1. The virus is not a threat to humans, but it can be spread via humans from infected horses to non-infected horses.

    Symptoms of EHV-1 can include fever, loss of balance and unsteady gait. Vaccinations against EHV-1 do not guarantee prevention of the disease.

    The cases were confirmed at St. Lawrence University’s horse boarding facility and Leg Up Stables, which serves as the home for SUNY Geneseo’s equestrian team.

    All horses have been voluntarily quarantined as the Department of Agriculture and Markets works to discover the source of the virus and prevent it from spreading further. Proactive biosafety measures have also been put into place by both stables.

    The dates during which horses and people may have been at risk for exposure to EHV-1 range from February 23 through March 10. This window of time is for anyone who visited the facilities, competed at the venues, or who had contact with these animals.

    If possible, any exposed horse should be quarantined from other horses for at least three weeks from the date of a known exposure. If an exposed horse has not shown any symptoms of infection for three weeks, it is likely safe to remove the horse from isolation.

    Questions can be directed to a veterinarian and the Division of Animal Industry at the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets at (518) 457-3502.

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