Tests Confirm 5 Utah Horses With Equine Herpes Virus | Business
Lab results confirm five horses in Utah have the equine herpes virus. It's a highly contagious and often fatal disease. The outbreak started with a competition in Ogden earlier this month and has now spread through four western states and Canada. In Utah, three ranches have horses showing symptoms and are on a hold by Utah's state veterinarian. The five confirmed cases are all at one facility and quarantined. State veterinarian Bruce L. King says he is not mandating, but suggesting horse owners keep their animals at home. King says "If this spreads we could lose the whole summer as far as eventing goes. If we're a little more careful now hopefully that won't be the case."
Many horse events have been voluntarily canceled, like the South Summit High School Rodeo in Oakley this weekend. Students athletes like Darcy Mines are disappointed because it is the last rodeo before the state championship. Mines says "There's a lot of kids counting on that rodeo to be the one to get them to state to help them get those last extra points. But It's better to be safe than be sorry. It's such a scary virus."
The five confirmed cases are being treated and are expected to survive. Two days ago, the five horses tested negative for the virus. Other horses that are showing symptoms but also tested negative are being tested again. Livestock investigators with the Utah Department of Agriculture are also following up on tips across the state.