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Update Regarding Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM) Quarantine at New Bolton Center  

By Martin Hackett; Hannah Kleckner Published: Jan 19, 2018

[January 19, 2018, Kennett Square, PA] – The University of Pennsylvania’s large animal hospital, New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, continues to work with state authorities to respond to the EHV-1 situation identified on January 16, 2018.

On Tuesday, January 16th, a horse that had been hospitalized for an unrelated medical issue developed signs compatible with equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM) and tested positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). Since then, an additional febrile horse housed in an adjacent barn has tested positive for EHV-1 and has been moved into the on-site, state-of-the-art isolation facility with dedicated staff that are entirely separate from any personnel handling the other horses. 

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has traced and quarantined horses suspected of having been exposed to the virus that had already left New Bolton Center prior to the diagnosis of EHM at that location.  In Pennsylvania, Orders of Special Quarantine have been posted at premises that received these potentially exposed animals to control the spread of this diseases.

Along with increased biosecurity, these locations are required to conduct twice daily temperature checks and monitor and report any horses showing signs of EHV-1 infection. As of the time of this publication, there have been no febrile or neurologic horses detected on the quarantined farms.

Another Pennsylvania premise that had contact with one of the EHV-1 positive horses prior to its hospitalization has also been quarantined.  In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has provided information concerning horses from other states that may have been exposed to the virus to their respective State Animal Health Officials for follow-up. 

New Bolton Center will continue to receive equine or camelid emergency admissions only during this time; these patients can be discharged when clinically indicated. On Monday, in consultation with the regional state veterinarian, New Bolton Center will decide if elective equine patients can be admitted.

All cows, goats, sheep, or pig patients can continue to be admitted and discharged without restriction. Field Service operations are unaffected and the Center will continue to receive appointments for non-equine animals. Reproductive services at the Hofmann Center are fully operational.

For additional information as it becomes available, please visit www.vet.upenn.edu/new-bolton-update.

For more information about EHM, please refer to https://aaep.org/guidelines/infectious-disease-control/equine-herpesvirus-resources.

About Penn Vet

Ranked among the top ten veterinary schools worldwide, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (Penn Vet) is a global leader in veterinary education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the first veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.

Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, handling nearly 35,000 patient visits a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet’s large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals. The hospital handles nearly 4,900 patient visits a year, while the Field Service treats more than 38,000 patients at local farms. In addition, New Bolton Center’s campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry.

Media Contacts

Martin Hackett
Director of Communications and Marketing
mhackett@vet.upenn.edu
215-898-1475

Hannah Kleckner
Associate Director, New Bolton Center
hkleck@vet.upenn.edu
610-925-6241

John Donges
Communications Coordinator
jdonges@vet.upenn.edu
215-898-4234