Four Monmouth Horses Test Positive for Virus

(from New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority release)
Four Monmouth Park-based horses with fevers who had blood tested were determined to be positive for the respiratory version of Equine Herpes Virus, it was learned late Wednesday afternoon.

The barn housing the horses in the Monmouth Park stable area has been under quarantine since Sunday morning when concerns were raised when a quintet of horses spiked fevers.

"We are having 11 horses tested but for now we've only received the report of four positives from the first batch," said Dr. William Keegan, the veterinarian caring for the horses. "On Thursday morning, we should know which ones [of the others] are positive and which are negative.

"The results are for the respiratory version," Keegan noted. "We have not received any neurological test results as yet, but there are no signs in any of the cases of any neurological symptoms. The horses are bright and alert and their fevers are starting to wane and normalize.

"I feel like we caught this early enough to contain it and nip it in time," he added.

The horses in quarantine are those trained by Justin Nixon, John Forbes, Tim Hills, and Bill Anderson.

Since Monday, none of the horses under quarantine have left the barn and the others based at Monmouth Park have only been allowed to race at Monmouth's sister track, the Meadowlands.

"Since we were informed of this matter, both the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park have been proactive in working with the veterinarians and horsemen to ensure the protection of everyone who could be affected," said Dennis Dowd, senior vice president of racing for the New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority.

The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has issued guidelines that include disinfecting the paddock and starting gate after every race.

Other aspects of the Department of Agriculture protocols include taking the temperature of every horse before shipping to the Meadowlands as well as retaking temperatures before they race. Horses shipping from Monmouth Park to the Meadowlands will be housed separately from any other ship-ins and only "commingle" during the races.

All the horses racing at the Meadowlands on Wednesday night and Thursday night are horses shipping from Monmouth Park only.

SPECIAL HORSE HEALTH FEATURE:
Neurologic Equine Herpesvirus Q&A courtesy of TheHorse.com
Talkin' Horses with Dr. Catherine Kohn
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