Martin J. Hackett, Communications Director, 215.898.1475, firstname.lastname@example.org; Hannah Kleckner, Communications Specialist, 610.925.6241, email@example.com
For Immediate Release
University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center Able to Admit Limited Types of Patients
[January 23, 2018; Updated: January 25, 2018, Kennett Square, PA] - In consultation with Dr. Aliza Simeone, Pennsylvania’s regional state veterinarian, New Bolton Center is admitting a limited number of patients whose management can be readily restricted to non-quarantined areas on the New Bolton Center campus.
New Bolton Center continues to uphold rigorous biosecurity measures following a case of equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM). This will limit the number and type of patients admitted. In an effort to best serve clients, New Bolton Center is offering limited specialized services, particularly to patients in which a delay in treatment may adversely affect outcome. New Bolton Center will continue to receive equine and camelid emergencies. All cow, sheep, goat, and pig patients will be admitted and discharged routinely. Field Service and Reproductive services at Hofmann Center remain fully operational.
On Tuesday, January 16th, a horse that had been hospitalized for an unrelated, medical issue developed signs compatible with EHM and tested positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). Since then an additional febrile horse housed in an adjacent barn, as well as two asymptomatic horses housed in either the same or adjacent barns, have tested positive for EHV-1.
The three horses that have tested positive have been moved into the on-site, state-of-the art isolation facility with dedicated staff that are entirely separate from personnel handling other horses in the facility. The barns they originally occupied remain quarantined. All horses remain asymptomatic. In the two horses in which strain identification was pursued, the virus was found to be the ‘A Strain’, or community type virus, as opposed to the neuropathogenic ‘G Strain’. While both strains can ultimately result in neurologic disease, outbreaks associated with the neuropathogenic strain tend to have a larger number of horses that are more severely affected.
EHM is the neurologic disease caused by equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). The virus is shed primarily from the equine respiratory tract and is transmitted either by direct contact between horses, or from contact with contaminated hands, clothing, or other equipment shared between horses. Taking precautions such as changing outerwear between horses or equine properties, and wearing and changing gloves between animals, prevents transmission of the disease.
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 become available, at www.vet.upenn.edu/new-bolton-update.