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Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1) – Nevada Update & Biosecurity Tips

Please note the NBHA Professional’s Choice Super Show scheduled for May 31 to June 2 at the South Point Equestrian Center has NOT been cancelled.

To Members of the National Barrel Horse Association:

With several cases of Equine Herpes Virus – Type 1 (EHV-1) confirmed in Nevada, my current recommendation is to stop movement of horses for at least three weeks to slow the spread of disease. While we have received reports that now five horses in attendance at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes event at the South Point Equestrian Center tested positive for EHV-1, the South Point is not the source of contamination.

The South Point has voluntarily postponed events and is in the process of disinfecting the entire property, and I fully support their efforts to help protect the equine community of Nevada. Disease is spread because sick horses are (knowingly or not) being brought to events and exposing healthy horses. EHV is present throughout the equine population and outbreaks often occur because stress in horses allows latent infections to become active.

I will continue to recommend that no horses travel or compete until the spread of disease has slowed or stopped, and I will continue to work closely with event coordinators throughout the state to make decisions on upcoming events on an as-needed basis. At this time, as long as horse owners do not travel and allow sufficient time for this current outbreak to stop spreading, there is no reason to cancel events in Nevada scheduled in June and throughout the summer.

The best thing horse owners and associations can do is to share the facts from our website or social media outlets, practice and encourage diligent biosecurity, and do not travel or compete with horses during outbreaks.

Biosecurity means doing everything possible to reduce chances of an infectious disease being transferred by people, animals, equipment or vehicles. EHV-1 and other diseases can be easily transferred on boots, coats, gloves and equipment. Some basic practices include:

  1. Never share equipment between horses, and always wear clean clothes when going from ill horses to others.
  2. Always start chores at healthy horses, and end with sick or recovering (within 30 days) horses.
  3. Avoid common areas such as hitching rails, wash racks, etc. during an outbreak.

Dr. JJ Goicoechea
State Veterinarian
Nevada Department of Agriculture

405 South 21st Street
Sparks, Nevada 89431-5557
Telephone (775) 353-3601 Fax (775) 353-3661