Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

November 23, 2010

Equine Herpesvirus 1 Detected at Western New York Racetrack

Animal health officials from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are investigating a case of Equine Herpesvirus 1 at a western New York State horse racing track.  Dr. David Smith, state veterinarian, states that a 4 year old female thoroughbred horse has tested positive for the disease and that his agency is in the early stages of investigating the extent of the infection.

One barn at the racetrack in which the affected horse was housed has been quarantined.  Racing officials are working diligently with the Department of Agriculture and Markets to determine horse movements and prevent spread. 

Equine Herpesvirus 1 is a common viral infection of horses and related species and its effects are quite variable.  Often, the infection is unnoticeable. It may also cause mild respiratory symptoms and may cause mares in late pregnancy to abort.  The form that concerns animal health officials and the horse industry most occurs when the virus attacks the central nervous system.  This neurologic form is life threatening to horses and can disrupt horse industry activities.

2010 Press Releases