April 18, 2011

Horse Quarantine at Cornell Lifted After Tests

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A quarantine on horses at the Equine Research Park and the Equine Research Park Annex will end Tuesday, according to the University. The quarantine at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals was lifted on April 12. A total of 100 horses from the equine hospital, the KLM barns, the Cornell Equine Park and the Annex were quarantined on Cornell grounds March 20 after a horse was diagnosed with the neurological form of Equine Herpes Virus Type-1, Dr. Gillian Perkins, clinical sciences senior lecturer, said.“There have been no fevers to date … We are comfortable that EHV-1 is not circulating in any of these horses,” Perkins said. “The agreement is to lift the quarantine if no fevers are detected.”The quarantine at the hospital for animals was lifted April 12 after tests confirmed that no horses exhibited any symptoms of EHV-1, according to the University.The quarantines at the Equine Research Park and the Annex lasted until Tuesday because “the quarantine period is longer for populations, like the ones at these locations, in which it is not feasible or cost effective to check twice daily for elevations in body temperatures,” said Michael Kotlikoff, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine.The horses in the hospital and KLM barns were checked twice a day for fevers and underwent nasal swabs — all of which came back negative for the virus — which led the hospital to lift the ban at the hospital, Perkins said. “Because of our ability to test and closely observe patients, the quarantine has been lifted sooner than at the Research Park and Annex,” Perkins said.He added that the examination of horses was thorough and that it was unlikely the horses were infected with EHV-1.“The nasal swab … test detects DNA of the virus and can detect as few as 10 genome copies of the virus and is therefore considered extremely sensitive, meaning that if the virus was there at a level that would be at risk of transmitting the disease, we would detect it,” Perkins said.   While quarantined, the horses were closely monitored and tested regularly, Kotlikoff said.

Original Author: Jesella Zambrano