Virus found at New Orleans Fair Grounds Racetrack

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — State agriculture officials say they’ve confirmed a case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy, an often deadly neurological disease spread by horse-to-horse contact, at the New Orleans Fair Grounds Racetrack.

The Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry, in a news release Wednesday, said a 2-year-old thoroughbred gelding reportedly developed a fever and neurological signs last week and was euthanized Dec. 26. Nasal swab and blood tests were confirmed positive for Equine Herpes Virus-1 neurogenic strain. EHM is caused from a mutant strain of EHV-1, a common respiratory virus.

Although not transmissible to humans, EHM can be spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.

LDAF says EHM was last detected at the track in 2008.


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