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Official: Arizona horse race track lifts quarantine following equine herpes outbreak

(Facebook/Turf Paradise)

PHOENIX — An Arizona horse race track has lifted a 21-day long quarantine placed on several horses following an equine herpes outbreak.

Turf Paradise in Phoenix was forced to place three of its horses under quarantine after a case of equine herpes was found at the facility last month. No horses were allowed to enter or exit the facility for three weeks.

Vincent Francia with Turf Paradise said the three horses had been shipped in from a facility in New Mexico that had been dealing with the outbreak.

“It was specific to three horses that had shipped in from Sunland Park Racetrack in New Mexico where they had an outbreak, a serious outbreak, of equine herpes virus,” he said.

One of the three horses tested positive for the virus and died, according to a statement from Turf Paradise. The other two horses do not have the virus and did not show any signs of illness.

Francia said officials at Turf Paradise were careful to keep the animals separated from the track’s previously-existing stable population of 1,700 horses.

According to the statement, Turf Paradise will not be taking horses from New Mexico or Texas and will be testing and isolating new horses upon arrival.

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.

Acting State Veterinarian Sue Gale said in a press release infected horses will have a fever, nasal discharge and weakness, among other symptoms.

KTAR News’ Lauren Grifo contributed to this report. 

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