01/25/2008 1:00AM

Bowie restrictions lifted

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Maryland officials on Friday lifted a temporary quarantine on a barn at Bowie Training Center after a second round of tests on a horse displaying symptoms associated with equine herpesvirus confirmed that the horse was not carrying the disease.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture put the barn under a "hold order" on Tuesday because of uncertainty over the unidentified horse's condition. Equine herpesvirus, which begins as an upper respiratory infection, is highly contagious, and in its advanced stages can lead to neurological disease and death.

Tests conducted on Thursday were also negative, but because one of the tests was inconclusive, the agriculture department ordered a second round. Those tests were also negative, officials said Friday.

The horse was stabled in a barn with 18 other horses before being moved to an isolated barn on Tuesday. Agriculture officials said that they found no signs of the disease in the first barn, and all the horses will now be allowed to train and race.