Two cases of EHV-1 have been detected on a farm in Prior Lake, Minnesota. There aren’t a lot of details about the cases, other than one horse was put down, and the other was taken to the University of Minnesota veterinary hospital for treatment and has apparently recovered and is ready to come home.
The barn is being monitored by the Minnesota Board of Animal Health for the next three weeks, which is the typical recommended quarantine period after the last case has either been removed or isolated from the rest of the animals. Hopefully during this time the rest of the horses will get twice-daily temperature checks to ensure any other animals that may have been infected are detected and isolated as soon as possible. Other routine infection control practices are hopefully also in place, such as hand hygiene between handling animals, and not sharing equipment between stalls and horses (particularly things like water/feed buckets, twitches, grooming supplies etc.). These practices should be in place all the time, but they frequently get extra attention in outbreak situations.
The remarkable part about this case is what the stable owner did after the disease was diagnosed. Instead of trying to keep it quiet or cover it up, she not only reported it to the Board of Health, but she also called everyone who visited the farm and the local veterinary hospitals, and even posted information on facebook to let everyone know what was going on. Fantastic! Part of the reason for being so proactive may be that the local horse expo last April was close to empty due to cases of EHV in the area affecteing 14 horses. It is great to see someone reaching out like this to give the community a "heads up" so that others will keep a closer eye on their animals and hopefully prevent spread of the disease. Hopefully she did it in an informative manner, and along with announcing the problem also told people about the plan to contain it. It’s always important to include the plan of action so the news itself doesn’t incite panic.