The Equine Disease Communications Center reports that there are now a total of 40 horses on the Fair Grounds Race Course backside to have tested positive for EHV-1, and that the total number of barns quarantined was increased from six to seven (14, 36, 47, 4, 30, 45, and the receiving barn).
A horse in Barn 45, trained by Andrew McKeever, returned a positive test for the wild type strain, placing Barn 45 under a mandated 14-day quarantine. Also, on Jan. 12, a horse in Barn 20 spiked a temperature of 104 and test results on blood and nasal samples were reported negative for EHV-1; retesting protocols will be followed.
The significant spike in positive tests can be linked to the protocols required for barns nearing the end of their state-mandated 14-day quarantines. Each horse in those barns must test negative for EHV-1 in both blood and nasal samples twice, with the two tests spaced at least 72 hours apart. For more details on those protocols, click here.
The barns tested for future quarantine release were Barn 14, Barn 36, and the Receiving Barn. The results brought back wild-type EHV-1 positives for the following numbers from each barn: Nine (9) horses in Barn 36, nineteen (19) horses in Barn 14 and two (2) horses in the Receiving Barn. It is not yet clear where these latest positives will be quarantined, but all were reported to be asymptomatic at the time of the positive test result, and none had spiked a fever in the previous two weeks.
So far, there are still only two reported positives for the EHV-1 neuropathogenic strain; the other 38 positives are the wild type of the virus.
At this time, Fair Grounds officials are working with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to secure additional space off property to isolate the horses who have tested positive and are working with the LSRC to further strengthen quarantine protocols and biosecurity measures.
Additionally, the EDCC reported that the Louisiana Department of Agriculture has traced a total of 65 horses that may have been exposed to EHV-1 in the Receiving Barn prior to Jan. 2, and that all of those horses had been isolated and were in the testing process.
The Fair Grounds is under a state-restricted quarantine, and no horses are allowed on or off the premises.
For further updates from Equine Disease Communications Center click here