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Quarantine lifted at Turf Paradise after equine herpes outbreak

(Facebook/Turf Paradise)

PHOENIX — A quarantine that was put in place for part of Turf Paradise, a racetrack in Phoenix, after one of its horses was diagnosed with equine herpes was lifted on Thursday.

Mark Killian, the director with the Arizona Department of Agriculture, said in a statement that the quarantine was lifted on the barn where the neurotropic form of the equine herpes virus was found last month.

The quarantine lasted 14 days. An outbreak broke out around the same time last year, causing a quarantine that lasted for 21 days.

No other horses were found to be infected with the virus, following an investigation by the Arizona Department of Gaming Division of Racing and state veterinarian Dr. Peter Mundschenk.

During the period of the quarantine, horse owners and other personnel were required to practice strict biosecurity measures.

Equine Herpes Virus -1, the type of virus that was diagnosed, is “highly contagious” among horses but poses no threat to humans.

Symptoms include fever, nasal discharge, wobbly gait, hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine and diminished tail tone.

The virus can be spread through the air, by contact and by with nasal secretions on equipment, tack, feed and other surfaces. Caretakers can also spread the virus if their hands, clothing, shoes or vehicles are contaminated.

Horse owners who believe their horses are showing signs of the virus or have any questions about the quarantine should contact the state veterinarian’s office at 602-542-4293.