The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced that there are a total of 22 horses that have been diagnosed with equine herpes myeloencephalopathy in 12 counties, three of which were diagnosed in Stanislaus County. Since its discovery, it has resulted in the death of two horses in the state.
The CDFA had determined that the majority of the infected horses contacted the virus while participating in the National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah.
The virus causes respiratory and neurological disease, which could result in death if left untreated.
Warning signs include fever, coughing, nasal discharge, lack of coordination of the hind legs, urine retention and dribbling and recumbency. Treatment includes intravenous fluids or anti-inflammatory drugs. Anti-viral drugs can also be used.
The best way to prevent the virus from spreading to other horses is to quarantine the infected horse.
For more information visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture at www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/equine_herpes_virus.html.