A horse participating in the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS), horse show in Ocala was referred to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine after showing clinical neurological signs on February 20, 2013. The horse subsequently tested positive for the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1). There are no additional confirmed cases at this time.
The Division of Animal Industry has begun a disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala and the local index farm. Currently, both the index farm and Tent 7 at HITS are under state quarantine. HITS management, trainers and veterinarians are cooperating fully to ensure proper safeguards are taken to prevent further spread of the disease.
Georgia Department of Agriculture recommends that any Georgia horses attending this event that are not under quarantine, should be isolated when returned home and observed closely for the next 21 days. If there is evidence of fever or illness, a veterinarian should be consulted as soon as possible. Anyone that was in attendance at this event should insure that adequate bio-security is maintained so that this potentially deadly viral disease is not transported back to Georgia.
The Georgia State Veterinarian's office will continue to monitor this event closely and keep our Georgia equine industry informed.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is asking all those in the equine community to report any suspected cases of EHV-1. For reporting, you may call the Georgia Department of Agriculture at 404-656-3671 or 404-656-3667.