Update to Barn A Isolation - 10/17/12
We have been informed by State Veterinarian Dr. Dawn Folker that the tests conducted
on the two horses in Barn A were returned as positive for Neurologic Herpes. Unfortunately,
both horses that tested positive have deceased and have been transported to the University of Illinois
for Autopsy. Due to the positive tests, Barn A will remain under isolation. The horses within that barn
will all be tested for Neurologic Herpes and upon completion of those tests, the horses that test
negative will be allowed to train under separate training hours until all horses test negative within that
period for a period as stated by the state veterinarian.
What is of utmost importance is that we act quickly to ensure a safe backstretch and racing
environment for our horses.
Dr. Christine King explains that by implementing a plan of action for neurologic herpes and understanding
how neurologic herpes is spread is important:
“Action Plan for Neurologic Herpes"
1. Implement a complete quarantine order immediately. Err on the side of caution, risk being very unpopular
for awhile, risk being wrong, and put your foot down; for the good of all, no horses in or out until diagnostic tests
for EHV-1 have been completed. No exceptions.
2. Separate the infected, suspect, and already-exposed horses from the unexposed horses as best you can with
the facilities you have. This virus, while highly infectious, doesn’t get very far on its own, as it cannot live for
very long outside the body. Respiratory secretions (e.g. nasal discharges) are among the most infectious of materials.
Fortunately, coughing is uncommon with EHV-1 infection, so transmission by air is limited to just a few feet.
This virus is primarily spread through direct horse-to-horse contact and by human hands, shared halters, feeders,
water troughs, etc. Quarantine and good hygiene practices generally are enough to limit its spread.
3. Instruct every member of your barn staff and all boarders on good hygiene practices. No sharing of anything
between horses, avoid unnecessary contact with horses, and cleanse your hands with warm, soapy water or one of
those waterless hand sanitizers after touching an infected or exposed horse. Make sure all of the horses are well care for,
particularly the sick ones, who may need extra nursing care; just be careful about spreading infective material to other horses.
4. Monitor all horses on the premises for fever at least once a day, preferably morning and night. (The normal rectal
temperature for an adult horse at rest is in the range of 99–101ºF. Anything above 101.5ºF is suspicious, unless the horse
recently exercised, in which case you should take the temperature again a couple of hours later.) Call your veterinarian for
any new cases with fever or neurologic signs.
5. Follow your veterinarian’s directions regarding quarantine and management within your facility. Do not lift the
quarantine until your vet gives the all-clear.
In closing, neurologic herpes can be a very bad deal for the horses affected and the people involved. But as newsworthy
as these outbreaks are, they tend to be very well contained through prompt action and common sense. Remember, too,
that the best defense against any infectious disease is a healthy, happy horse”
As stated by Dr. King, Hawthorne Race Course is following the recommendations and has quarantined Barn A
and Barn A only. The cases have been isolated to that barn and as stated in point #2 of Dr. King’s notes, “The virus,
while highly infectious, doesn’t get very far on its own, as it cannot live for very long outside the body…….so transmission
by air is limited to just a few feet.”
While this has been contained to Barn A, Hawthorne Race Course will follow the precautions to an extreme extent
to make sure we provide a safe racing environment for the remainder of our horses stabled at Hawthorne, along with those
shipping into Hawthorne. Through the help of our staff, Illinois State Veterinarian Dr. Dawn Folker, and Rusty Ford,
Equine Programs Manager with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, we have in place all of the necessary precautions
to continue racing while providing a safe racing environment for our horses at Hawthorne.
Below is Rusty Ford’s Outline for Managing Outbreaks of Herpes:
Managing Outbreaks of Herpes
Role of Regulatory Medicine and Intervention
Edward S. “Rusty” Ford, Equine Programs Manager
Office of State Veterinarian, Kentucky Department of Agriculture
A primary goal when working in a diseased environment is to contain or minimize the
spread of the disease-causing agent. Following are Biosecurity measures that when
implemented in a timely manner have proven effective in containing the disease to a defined area.
IMMEDIATE RESPONSE AND ACTIONS
When a Probable Diagnosis is Made
Secure the affected barns with 24hr/day security
Nothing in or out without authorization of state veterinarian
Identify secured area for affected animals to be relocated
Collect and submit diagnostic samples for confirmation
Diagnosis is Confirmed or Additional Cases Develop
Restrict entrance to listed and essential personnel only
Signage in English and Spanish – Sign in/out
Protective clothing remains in barn area
Disinfect individuals upon entry and exit
Prohibit individual’s access to other barns
Temperature logs distributed – monitor 3x daily
102.0 reported to KHRA Chief Veterinarian (IL State Vet in our case)
~102.5 reported immediately to the State Veterinarian
Disinfect receiving barn, paddock, starting gate, detention barn and
other commingling areas or common equipment
Cross Ties Wiped Between Races
Disinfected Each Race Day’s End
Gloved With Each Entry
Trainer Lifts Lip
STARTING GATE and CREW
Head Area of Gate Wiped Between Races
Disinfected Daily Following Races
Assistant Starters Wear Latex Gloves Each Race
Disinfectant Towels Available For Incidental Contact
BYOB = Bring Your Own Bucket
Stalls Disinfected at Race Day’s End
Outriders Disinfect Tack Following Training Hours
Disinfectant Wipes Available For Incidental Contact
WITHIN 24Hrs OF LOCK DOWN or CONFIRMATION OF DIAGNOSIS
INCREASE SCRUTINY AND REQUIREMENTS OF EQUINE ARRIVALS
Certificate Of Veterinary Inspection Required
Establish Time Frame For Increased Examinations
Increase Certification Statements and Immunizations
Training Horses Shipping Onto Grounds to Work Is Disallowed
All Racing Ship-Ins Go to Receiving Barn Only
INCREASE SCRUTINY OF EQUINE DEPARTING PREMISES
Certificate of Veterinary Inspections Requiring
Examination During 24hr Period Preceding Departure
Increase Certification Statements and Immunizations
Log Date, Time, Reason and Destination of All Departures
If you have any further questions, please contact your practicing veterinarian or Dr. Folker directly.
We will make all necessary strides to ensure a safe racing environment at Hawthorne Race Course.
Jim Miller – Assistant General Manager, Hawthorne Race Course
Mike Campbell - ITHA President