Laurel Park barn under quarantine after equine herpesvirus positive

Monday, May 13, 2024

Barn 33 at Laurel Park is currently under quarantine after a horse tested positive for equine herpesvirus (EHV). The following letter was written by Mike Rogers, Maryland Jockey Club Interim President, and Dr. Dionne Benson, Chief Veterinary Officer for 1/ST Racing:

"On April 14, the Maryland Jockey Club was alerted to a horse displaying neurological abnormalities in its hind limbs. At that time, the horse did not exhibit a fever, and has remained without one since. As a precautionary measure, both this horse and another, which had been in close proximity to the affected animal but showed no symptoms, were relocated to an isolation barn at Laurel Park. Additionally, Barn 33, where the affected horse was housed, was promptly placed under quarantine.

"We promptly notified the State Veterinarian's Office and arranged for the affected horse to undergo testing for equine herpesvirus (EHV). Late yesterday (April 15), we received confirmation that the initial nasal swab tested positive for EHV. Further testing is scheduled for later this week.

"In collaboration with the State Veterinarian's Office, we are in the process of developing a comprehensive quarantine protocol for Barn 33. This plan will allow horses in this barn to train separately from the general population and enable other barns to continue their regular racing and training activities.

"It is imperative that all horses within our care are closely monitored for any signs of fever or symptoms consistent with EHV. Any horse registering a temperature above 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit, or exhibiting signs of incoordination, must be reported immediately to an MJC Veterinarian."

The MJC has implemented the following protocols that will remain in effect until further notice:

Effective April 17 at Laurel, non-quarantine horses may train from 5-8:30 a.m., with a break at 6:30 a.m. Quarantined horses may train from 8:50-10:30 a.m. on non-racing days and 8:50-10 a.m. on racing days. Gate schooling is available from 7-8:30 a.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Horses stabled in Barn 33 must use the far horse path near Wash Tent 2 and are not permitted to use Wash Tent 1. All baths should be given outdoors.

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