The California Department of Food and Agriculture released an announcement on their website earlier this week that a new case of EHV-1 had been confirmed in San Diego County, and the horse had previously been stabled in tent 21 at HITS Coachella. The 10-year-old gelding was at the show from January 21 to February 5th.
On February 16th, the CDFA released an additional statement that they were aware of additional cases of symptomatic EHV-1 from horses stabled in tent 21, but would only speak on cases that were confirmed positives. The implication, however, is that the exposure did occur at the show, and owners and exhibitors in Thermal should be vigilant.
As for the venue, the CFDA stated they have been in touch with HITS show management and veterinary teams to ensure that all the appropriate disinfecting protocols were being followed to prevent any additional cases.
Both statements are included below in their entirety, and we will be providing additional updates as necessary on this developing story.
You can also follow the thread on the CDFA Website.
EHM Incident in San Diego County
February 13, 2017: A 10 year-old Warmblood gelding in San Diego County displaying neurologic signs of urine dribbling and hind limb ataxia was confirmed positive for Equine Herpesvirus -1 by the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory, the state’s regulatory laboratory. Based on the clinical signs and positive laboratory test, this horse meets the case definition for Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy, a condition which requires regulatory action. The neurologic signs were first noted on Tuesday February 7, 2017. The positive horse was stabled in tent 21 at the HITS Show in Thermal, CA from January 21, 2017 to February 5, 2017. The EHM horse and one additional exposed horse have been quarantined at their home premises in San Diego County. CDFA has been in contact with HITS show management and veterinarians to ensure enhanced biosecurity measures are taken on the premises; including cleaning and disinfecting the stabling area. CDFA recommends any exposed horses be observed for clinical signs and have temperatures taken twice daily. CDFA will continue to monitor the situation.
February 16, 2017: The confirmed quarantined Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy case in San Diego County is recovering. CDFA continues to monitor the situation.
CDFA is aware of Equine Herpesvirus-1(EHV) circulating in horses previously stabled in Tent 21 of the HITS Thermal Showgrounds. However, CDFA only has regulatory authority (ie quarantine issuance authority) over EHV-1 confirmed cases with neurologic signs (Equine Herpesvirus Myeloencephalopathy.) CDFA recommends exhibitors at the HITS Thermal Show follow enhanced biosecurity protocols.