weather icon Clear

Equine virus prompts quarantine by Nevada

Officials with the Nevada Department of Agriculture have announced a quarantine on a horse facility in Clark County, after three positive cases of Equine Herpes Virus Type 1 (EHV-1), were discovered in that county.

Additionally, horses that competed at the Nevada State Junior/High School Rodeo which took place in Pahrump at McCullough Arena back in late February, may have been exposed and should be monitored for signs of disease, such as fever, cough, and, or runny nose.

The arena will remain closed until April 5.

As stated in a news release, the virus, complete with neurologic signs, was reported in Clark County, prompting State Veterinarian Dr. JJ Goicoechea to order a 14-day quarantine, which is subject to extension pending any additional cases that come up.

Additionally, the virus poses no health risk to other livestock.

Details about the Clark County facility was not be released per Nevada Revised Statute 571.160.

“I have issued this quarantine to help prevent the spread of disease during equine event season in Nevada and surrounding states,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “Equine Herpes Virus-1 can cause respiratory disease in young horses, abortions in pregnant mares and neurologic disease in older horses. It can be fatal to horses, but having horses current on their vaccines can help limit disease severity. Like viruses in humans, it has to run its course, and you only can treat the symptoms.”

The news release also noted that the average incubation period for EHV-1 is four to seven days, but some may take up to 14 days.

“Eight to 12 days after infection first appears, neurological disease may occur,” according to the release. “EHV-1 is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the Nevada Department of Agriculture, per the NRS. Additional samples have been submitted and we are awaiting the test results.”

Additionally, Dr. Goicoechea said owners should monitor their horses for the disease and practice what is known as “biosecurity.”

The term is defined as doing everything possible to reduce chances of an infectious disease being transferred by people, animals, equipment or vehicles, as the virus can be transferred by way of boots, coats, gloves and equipment.

“I urge all horse owners to monitor their horses closely, taking temperatures twice daily and seeking veterinarian care for any fevers over 102 degrees,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “It is especially important to practice biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading disease. Never share equipment between horses, and always wear clean clothes when going from ill horses to others.”

Though the virus does not pose a threat to humans, Goicoechea said humans can spread the disease to other horses.

“It is spread by grooming, feeding, and the like, which is why biosecurity is of utmost importance,” he said.

Officials also cautioned to always start chores with healthy horses, and end with the sick, or recovering horses.

They also advised to avoid common areas such as hitching rails, wash racks and other equipment during an outbreak.

As a longtime horse owner himself, Buddy Krebs raised a few concerns about the situation.

Krebs is also the director of the Pahrump Valley High School Rodeo Club.

“To my knowledge, there are no known cases in Nye County,” he said. “There are three in Clark County and there’s one up north somewhere. Nobody really knows where it originated. A horse was sick here, but I think that horse came here sick. They canceled the Logandale High School Rodeo, which was supposed to be this weekend, and statewide, the state veterinarian wants horse owners to be cautious. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

For additional information, or to view a list of reportable diseases, log on to agri.nv.gov

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Ford urges Congress to add aid for senior fraud victims

Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford on Tuesday joined more than 40 other attorneys general in urging the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to include Edith’s Bill in COVID-19 relief legislation.

Extension focuses this week on loan resources, streaming

University of Nevada, Reno Extension is offering an online town hall and a webinar this week to help inform small business owners of resources available to them and how using streaming video can help them to market their businesses.

Federal funds available to stop nonpoint source pollution

The Nevada Division of Environmental Protection’s Bureau of Water Quality Planning has approximately $1 million in federal funding available to provide grant assistance for projects that prevent or control nonpoint source water pollution, the leading cause of water quality impairment in Nevada.

Census takers begin making home visits

Census takers in Nevada on Monday began tracking households that have not yet responded to the 2020 census.

All Pahrump businesses visited complying with safety measures

None of the 38 businesses in Pahrump were found to be out of compliance with workplace health and safety measures implemented because of the COVID-19 pandemic, while two out of five in Beatty were not in compliance.

Scientists say rare buckwheat strain in danger of extinction

Tiehm’s buckwheat, a desert wildflower that grows in the small area of the Silver Peak Range in Esmeralda County and nowhere else in the world, is under threat from lithium mining, according to nearly 100 scientists who recently signed a letter urging Nevada officials to protect the rare species.

Nursing homes in Nevada show high positivity rates

Using data from Johns Hopkins University, the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living compiled a state-by-state breakdown of the positive COVID-19 test rate and number of nursing homes in those states, as well as data on the current supply of personal protective equipment in those nursing homes.