The University of Pennsylvania’s large animal hospital, New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, is under a self-imposed equine quarantine for Equine Herpes Myeloencephalitis (EHM). New Bolton Center has canceled all elective, equine appointments pending further instructions from the regional state veterinarian.
New Bolton Center will receive equine or camelid (also susceptible to Equine Herpesvirus or EHV-1) emergency admissions only during this time. All cows, goats, sheep, or pig patients can 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.
On Tuesday, January 16th, a horse recently admitted to the hospital for non-neurologic symptoms, tested positive for EHV-1, and was ultimately displaying signs compatible with EHM. Of particular relevance to the larger equine community, this horse had a non-traditional presentation for EHM; including a single low grade fever and several days of normal temperature prior to the development of neurologic signs.
New Bolton Center is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to contain any possible spread of the infection and to determine the duration of the quarantine. Owners and referring veterinarians of the horses still at New Bolton are being notified and biosecurity measures have been implemented to protect hospitalized horses.
EHM is the neurologic disease caused by EHV-1, and is spread through the equine respiratory tract, predominantly through direct contact. Many horses are latently infected making prevention difficult, but the virus does not persist for long in the environment and is sensitive to common disinfectants. The disease does not affect humans or ruminants, but can negatively impact camelids.
New Bolton Center will provide additional, regular, and timely information as it becomes available at http://www.vet.upenn.edu/new-bolton-update.
For more information, please visit https://www.aphis.usda.gov/vs/nahss/equine/ehv/ehv_ehm_recommendations_051611.pdf