media release

Colorado Department of Agriculture



May 14, 2012

Contact: Christi Lightcap, (303) 239-4190,


UPDATE:  Equine Herpesvirus Confirmed in Colorado Horse


LAKEWOOD, Colo. – The Colorado Department of Agriculture is investigating one confirmed case of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) within the state; a quarantine has been placed on a Douglas County premises.


The affected horse was imported by a private owner from Iowa through a transport company and was euthanized after showing severe neurological signs associated with the disease. There are three other facilities in Colorado that received horses from the same transport company.  Those horses are isolated and are being closely monitored for any clinical signs of EHV. 


Unlike the EHV-1 outbreak in 2011, this case is not associated with any equine show or event.  To date, no other horses have become ill with similar signs.  With the exception of the index and direct contact horses’ premises the state veterinarian is not recommending movement or event restrictions. 


EHV-1 is not transmissible to people; it can be a serious disease of horses that can cause respiratory, neurologic disease and death. The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact. The virus can also spread through the air, contaminated equipment, clothing and hands.


Symptoms include fever, decreased coordination, nasal discharge, urine dribbling, loss of tail tone, hind limb weakness, leaning against a wall or fence to maintain balance, lethargy, and the inability to rise. While there is no cure, the symptoms of the disease may be treatable.


Additional Resources:

·         A Guide To Understanding the Neurologic Form of EHV Infection

·         USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Resources

·         American Assoc. of Equine Practitioners Fact Sheet