BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana agriculture officials are monitoring an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus-1 at the Horse Shows in the Sun equestrian event last month in Ocala, Fla.
The state Department of Agriculture and Forestry says on Feb. 21 a horse was diagnosed with a wild strain of the virus and six days later, several more horses were diagnosed.
The horse show grounds on currently under quarantine but horses that attended the show may have been exposed to the virus.
Commissioner Mike Strain says Louisiana-based horses that participated in the event must be cleared by a veterinarian and must notify the Louisiana State Veterinarian's Office in order to re-enter the state.
Strain says at least seven horses are quarantined in New Orleans. It's unclear if that number will grow.
EHV-1 is a DNA virus that can cause fever, lethargy, abortion, respiratory, neurological issues and death. It can be spread directly from horse-to-horse or indirectly through coughing or contact with objects contaminated with the virus such as tack, wipe rags or other grooming equipment, feed and water buckets and people's hands or clothing.
EHV-1 is not contagious to humans.