Another equine virus case reported, quarantined

Another case of the deadly equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy has been detected in Loudoun County.

The horse with the disease was taken the Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg where it is under quarantine and is reportedly “recovering,” according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Elaine Lidholm, director of communications for the department, noted that another horse from the Loudoun farm was “exhibiting a fever,” but none of the other symptoms of the virus.

Lidholm added that they do not believe this new case is related to the Feb. 5 case reported in Albemarle.

“As far as anyone knows, the horses in Albemarle and the horses in Loudoun have never been in contact with each other,” Lidholm said. “Right now, all we can say is that it is just a coincidence.”

The good news, Lidholm said, is that “neither group has been to any events or races, mainly because it is just too early in the season.”

Lidholm added that event season does not start until March or April.

Since that season has not started, Lidholm said, “That cuts back a very logical source for diseases to spread.”

USDA veterinarians are performing epidemiology studies at both locations in the hopes of discovering the cause of the two seemingly unrelated cases of the virus.

In addition, Lidholm added that the horses at the Loudoun farm have been placed under quarantine. The news releases noted that the Loudoun farm has 33 horses.

As of today, Lidholm noted that no other horses at either the Loudoun or the Albemarle locations have shown symptoms of the virus.

“Horse owners everywhere need to keep practicing bio-security,” She said, “Most horse owners are good about that.”

Lidholm say farmers should practice bio-security sanitation measures “that can keep the virus from spreading,” such as stabling horses separately and check the temperatures of their horses “at least twice a day” to make sure they are not showing any symptoms of the virus.

The department will continue to post updates regarding the virus in Virginia at and on Twitter @VaAgriculture.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or

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