03/18/2014 7:22PM

Woodbine: Single case of equine herpesvirus reported; training restrictions put in place

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Ontario Racing Commission has implemented a series of precautionary measures after a single case of the equine herpesvirus, EHV-1, was reported at Woodbine.

According to a notice issued by the ORC, a 5-year-old filly in Barn 10 on the Woodbine backstretch showed neurological signs of EHV-1 on March 13 but did not have a fever. The filly was removed from Woodbine, put into isolation Saturday, and is in stable condition.

Test results showed non-neurotropic EHV-1 in the filly’s blood but not in nasal secretions, an unusual finding, according to the notice, and the filly has been retested as a result. There have been no other reports of sick horses in Barn 10, and the ORC has noted that the risk of transmission to other horses may be low since EHV-1 typically is spread by nasal secretions.

The ORC said the EHV-1 case from this horse differs from the neurotropic form identified in five Thoroughbreds at Woodbine last June, which resulted in the death of a 2-year-old filly. Although both neurotropic and non-neurotropic types of EHV-1 can cause neurological disease, the non-neurotropic strain is thought to be less likely to do so.

To help prevent the spread of the disease, all horses residing on the Woodbine backstretch must have their temperature taken twice daily. Horses in Barn 10 will only be allowed to train at the end of training hours, and only ponies housed in Barn 10 will be allowed to pony horses in Barn 10.
Despite the reported EHV-1 case, Thoroughbred training and Standardbred racing at Woodbine will continue as scheduled.