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Howard County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpesvirus

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Program confirmed a horse in Howard County tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) on June 22. Samples from the symptomatic horse were sent to the Frederick Animal Health Laboratory, where the neurotropic strain of EHV-1 was confirmed. The horse was euthanized due to complications.

The Howard County farm has been placed on a hold order by the department, prohibiting movement on or off the farm until any exposed horses have been cleared for release. The horse was previously housed in an isolated barn with 27 other horses, none of which are showing clinical signs of EHV-1 or fever at this time. The veterinary practitioner and stable are providing follow-up care to the asymptomatic horses on the farm. Possible links to the positive EHV-1 equine are actively being investigated.

Owners are cautioned to monitor horses at their premises carefully, and should contact their private veterinarians to arrange for Equine Herpesvirus testing if a horse exhibits significant temperature elevations or neurologic signs. Veterinarians are required to report equine neurologic syndrome to the department by calling the Animal Health Program at (410) 841-5810.

**UPDATE** A second horse stabled in the same barn as the original confirmed horse tested positive for EHV-1 on June 26 after displaying clinical signs of the virus. The horse has been moved to a quarantine facility where it is receiving treatment from the farm’s veterinary practitioner. The original barn and quarantine facility will remain under a hold order.  

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Contact Information

If you have any questions, need additional information or would like to arrange an interview, please contact:

Jason Schellhardt
Director of Communications
Telephone: 410-841-5888

Megan Guilfoyle
Public Information Officer
Telephone: 410-841-5889