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Update on Equine Herpes Quarantine at Turfway Park

Monday, January 23, 2006 12:00 AM
  • General
FLORENCE, KY . . . January 23, 2006 . . . The University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center reported that the testing samples submitted last week from Turfway Park's lead ponies and outrider horses resulted in each animal being reported negative for EHV-1. In addition to the buffy coat sample, nasal swabs were collected from each of the 32 animals.

Of these samples, 31 were reported negative on the nested PCR assay, with the remaining sample suggesting an inconclusive result showing some EHV-1 DNA particles were detected. The negative buffy coat result, supported with information that no clinical evidence of disease has been suggested within these 31 horses or barns housing them during the previous 23-day period and with a clean clinical assessment of each animal completed this afternoon, [state officials] have concluded these animals are not affected with an active equine herpes virus infection.

Officials remain confident that the DNA detected in the one horse most likely represents dead particles from a past illness. State officials came to this conclusion based on the animal's testing history, consistent normal presentation, the clean environment the horse has remained in, and the fact that multiple samples have failed to detect EHV-1 in the buffy coat. Turfway Park will, though, err cautiously by not allowing that animal to return to Turfway Park at this time. The one animal currently remains quarantined at the Boone County Fair Grounds while the individuals responsible for this horse make arrangements to move him to a suitable location.

With this interpretation, State Veterinarian Robert Stout has rescinded the restrictions placed on the other 31 horses, allowing for their return to Turfway Park and eligibility to return to work beginning Tuesday morning, January 24. This follows a removal of the quarantine placed on Barn 26 last Wednesday, January 19, that permitted 48 horses to rejoin the general population of horses.

Samples have been taken from the 52 horses that remain quarantined in Barn 27, with results expected later this week.

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