WA, OR vets say horse virus episode easing



OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — State veterinarians for Washington and Oregon say it appears that a recent outbreak of a potentially fatal horse virus has been contained.

In separate statements, Dr. Leonard Eldridge of Washington and Dr. Don Hansen of Oregon say that any horse that has not tested positive for the neurological form of the equine herpes virus, or exhibited symptoms or been exposed to a confirmed positive horse should be OK to travel and participate in horse events.

The highly contagious virus poses no risk to humans but has been blamed for the deaths of at least 12 horses since the outbreak began in early May at a cutting horse competition in Ogden, Utah.

Hansen says 20 horses from Oregon attended that competition, five tested positive and one died.

Eldridge says eight horses tested positive in Washington and four of them attended the Ogden competition. None died from the virus, although one horse was euthanized for an unrelated health condition.