Two Serious Equine Viruses Confirmed In Oregon, ODA Advises Owners To Vaccinate Animals | Local News



The Oregon Department of Agriculture has received six confirmed reports of West Nile virus diagnosed in Oregon horses in the past two weeks. Another suspected case is under investigation. The affected horses live in several counties in the state: Umatilla, Malheur and Klamath. None of the infected horses have been recently vaccinated against WNV, and most horses have never been vaccinated against WNV.

Numerous other cases of WNV have also been reported recently in Washington, Idaho and California, near the Oregon border. Therefore, the ODA recommends annual vaccination as an effective tool to prevent WNV infection in horses.

Please see the Equine Disease Communication Center website for more information on reportable equine diseases and West Nile virus.

On September 9, Oregon State Veterinarian Dr. Ryan Scholz, DVM, received a report that equine herpes myeloencephalopathy had been diagnosed in one horse and suspected in a second horse on a private farm in the Linn County. A third horse from the same farm tested positive for EHV-1, with a fourth and a fifth horses exposed. Two of the affected horses were euthanized. A preliminary investigation shows that none of the five horses have been moved off the farm or come into contact with other horses in the past four weeks. As a result, Dr Scholz has placed the farm in quarantine.

EHV-1 is very contagious. While there are no known exposures related to the Linn County farm, Dr Scholz recommends that owners of horses concerned about the exposure monitor their horse’s temperature and contact their veterinarian if a fever or clinical signs develop. The EHV-1 test is generally not recommended in asymptomatic horses. More information is available from the Equine Disease Communication Center.

West Nile virus and EHV-1 are both reportable diseases in Oregon. Veterinarians should report suspected cases to the Oregon State Veterinarian by calling 503-986-4680.


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