Equineherpes Positives Keep Shipping Ban in Place

Two additional positive tests for the Equineherpes-1 virus Feb. 26 at Penn National Race Course have prompted Philadelphia Park to extend its ban on shipping into and out of the Grantville, Pa., track to March 19. Racetracks in neighboring West Virginia have also decided to implement the shipping restriction as a precaution.

The total number of horses that have tested positive for EHV-1 at Penn National now stands at five. Two weeks ago, three horses trained by Bob Wolfe and stabled in Barn U tested positive; two of those horses died. The third spiked a fever but is doing well and showing no neurological symptoms, said Richard Schnaars, general manager at Penn National.
      
Ten nasal swab samples from Barn U were sent to the Gluck Equine Research Center in Kentucky for analysis, and of those, two more came back positive. Schnaars declined to name the trainer of the two horses but did say they were stabled in Barn U.

"We've taken every precaution we can to keep the virus from spreading," Schnaars said. "We've instituted 24-hour security on Barn U and only specific people are allowed in and out. They've been provided with a disinfectant spray to use, there are foot baths with disinfectants at the doorways, plus plenty of dispensers with the disinfectants so that they can wash their hands thoroughly."

The horses in Barn U will not be allowed out at least until March 19, the same day the Philadelphia Park ban ends.

Sal Sinatra, director of racing at Philly Park, said there have been no suspected cases of EHV-1 at the Bensalem, Pa., track. He said he expects to lift the shipping restrictions without incident.

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