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BrownfieldAgNews reports:

The Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) is affecting horses in several states and has led to the cancellations of some horse shows to help reduce the spread.

"EHVs are actually quite common in our horses," says Rebecca Bott, an equine specialist with South Dakota State University Extension.

"Many horses have been exposed at some point. So, any time you're travelling, not just when there's a recent indication of a disease that's present in our communities, we're always at the risk of transmitting diseases."

She says engaging your equine vet at the first sign of the illness is very important because they can help set up supportive care for horses to reduce stress during the virus. While the most common transmission of EHV is direct horse-to-horse contact she says people can be carriers for transmission as well.

She tells Brownfield Ag News, "If you're working with your horse and you go down and you work with another horse, just in the next stall over or in a different paddock scenario, if you have contracted any disease particles on your clothing, on your hands, on equipment then that can be another vehicle for transmission."

Bott says there is an incubation period from the time a horse is exposed to EHV-1 to the time they show signs of the disease which may last a few days to more than two weeks. During that time horses may be transmitting the disease. There are vaccines for EHV-1 and EHV-4.

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