The New Jersey Department of Agriculture's Division of Animal Health has issued a quarantine at the Mid-Atlantic Veterinary Clinic in Ringoes, Hunterdon County, after a horse recovering from surgery there tested positive for the equine herpes virus. The horse, which had been at Monmouth Park before a quarantine was established at the track on Oct. 27, went to Mid-Atlantic for colic surgery. Mid-Atlantic tested the horse for EHV on Oct. 23 after hearing about concerns at the racetrack, and the results were negative. However, a second test taken earlier this week turned up a positive result.Consequently, the department began efforts to identify all horses that came into contact with the horse in question and any horses those horses contacted. In all, those "trace back" and "trace forward" measures identified 36 horses that were then tested for EHV.
"This case in Ringoes shows the vital importance of quarantines for diseases like equine herpes," said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Charles M. Kuperus. "Just one horse that left Monmouth Park before the quarantine was imposed there has now created the necessity for tests of 36 others. Multiply that by the more than 1,000 horses at the racetrack and you can see how diseases like this can spread exponentially unless quarantine measures are taken." The horse was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery on Oct. 21, six days prior to a quarantine being instituted at Monmouth Park. Last week more than 1,000 horses at the racetrack were quarantined after positive test results on at least one horse for the neuropathogenic strain of the equine herpes virus. At least four horses at Monmouth Park were tested for EHV after they began exhibiting fevers last week. Those four, and other horses at Monmouth Park that had contact with those horses, were separated from the rest of the equine population there and are in designated quarantine barns. All horses in the quarantined barns at the park will not be permitted to move to other facilities until they have shown no indications of the disease for at least 21 days.