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One case of equine herpes found at Arizona horse racing track

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PHOENIX — Just one case of equine herpes has been found at an Arizona race track after a scare prompted a weekend quarantine at the facility.

Laura Oxley with Turf Paradise said the affected horse was one of three that were brought to the facility from Dona Ana County, New Mexico, where 31 horses were diagnosed with the illness.

The three horses were immediately quarantined.

Arizona officials said no other horses would be allowed to enter or exit the facility for the next three weeks.

“The confirmation of the virus does not change anything at the track,” acting State Veterinarian Sue Gale said in a press release. “All horses are still ordered to stay on the premises.  The track, veterinarians and the department are monitoring all horses for symptoms.”

Oxley said there is no danger to those who attend the races.

Equine herpes, which is spread to horses through the air or by contact, is highly contagious among horses but does not affect humans. However, people who come in contact with an infected horse can easily spread it to other horses.

Gale said infected horses will have a fever, nasal discharge and weakness, among other symptoms.

“If horse owners notice these symptoms, they should contact their personal vet,” she said. “If veterinarians see a horse with these symptoms, they need to report the case to the state veterinarian.”

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