Revised:  12/19/2008

Memo for December 18, 2008













New Jersey Department of Agriculture



To: Veterinarians

From: Nancy E. Halpern, DVM, New Jersey State Veterinarian

Date: December 18, 2008

Re: Update II: Equine Herpes Virus 1 (EHV-1) in Delaware


On December 17, 2008, the Delaware State Veterinarian reported that a second farm has a confirmed case of EHV-1. The horse on this farm has clinical signs consistent with the neurologic form of EHV-1 and has also tested PCR positive on blood/nasal swab. More information about this case and regular updates regarding this investigation are available on the Delaware Department of Agriculture's website: .


The newly affected farm is 5-10 miles from another farm from which two horses were reported positive for EHV-1 last week. To date, investigations conducted by the Delaware Department of Agriculture and the Delaware Harness Racing Commission have not found any epidemiological links between the two farms, except that both farms are involved in the harness racing industry.


The EHV-1 organism spreads quickly from horse to horse and can cause respiratory problems especially in young horses, spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares, and the neurologic form of the virus can reach high morbidity and mortality rates. NJDA recommends the implementation of biosecurity protocols to help prevent the spread of agents of this as well as other diseases. The virus can last in the environment from one week to several weeks under ideal conditions. Separate personnel and equipment should be used for new arrivals. Washing of hands and equipment should be performed between handling horses. For more information on biosecurity protocols go to


For further information on keeping horses safe and healthy go to


Any horse displaying clinical signs of EHV-1, including fever, respiratory or neurologic signs should be isolated immediately from other horses. The neurological form of EHV is considered a reportable disease in New Jersey. If you have a horse exhibiting neurological signs or suspect Equine Herpes please call the Division of Animal Health at 609-292-3965. If a horse is exhibiting neurological signs, it is recommended to test by PCR. For further information, please contact Dr. Betty Miguel, Director, Animal Health Laboratory at 609-292-1270 or via email at






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