Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center under self-imposed quarantine

Posted: Jan. 18, 2018

The University of Pennsylvania New Bolton Center has put in place a self-imposed quarantine because a horse admitted to the facility displayed signs of the neurologic disease caused by equine herpesvirus-1.

New Bolton said Jan. 17 it has canceled all elective equine appointments pending further instructions from the regional state veterinarian. The facility will accept equine or camelid emergency admissions only during the quarantine period; cows, goats, sheep or pigs can be admitted and discharged without restriction.

According to a release, a horse recently admitted to the hospital for non-neurologic symptoms tested positive for EHV-1 Jan. 16 and was ultimately displaying signs compatible with equine herpes myeloencephalitis. New Bolton said it’s “of particular relevance to the larger equine community” that horse had a non-traditional presentation for EHM, including a single low-grade fever and several days of normal temperature prior to the development of neurologic signs.

EHM is the neurologic disease caused by EHV-1 and spread through the equine respiratory tract, predominantly through direct contact. Many horses are latently infected making prevention difficult, but the virus does not persist for long in the environment and is sensitive to common disinfectants, the facility said. The disease does not affect humans or ruminants but can negatively impact camelids.

New Bolton said it working with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to contain any possible spread of the infection and to determine the duration of the quarantine. Owners and referring veterinarians of the horses at New Bolton are being notified, and biosecurity measures have been implemented to protect hospitalized horses.

Officials said field service operations are unaffected by the development, and that reproductive services at the Hofmann Center are fully operational.

New Bolton said it will provide updates as available. The Equine Disease Communications Center provides updates on various cases throughout the United States.

(Photo of New Bolton campus courtesy of University of Pennsylvania)