Dear Desert Circuit competitors,
As of our last update on Tuesday, we had five horses in isolation, all from Barn 34. All of these horses are doing well and are asymptomatic. We continue to test these horses to determine when they are no longer shedding. The threshold for horses leaving isolation is two negative tests seven days apart. Thus far, one of the five horses has started its timeline for leaving isolation. We are heartened that all of these horses are doing so well.
Barn 34 remains under quarantine. No additional horses in Barn 34 have reported a fever.
We have had one additional horse test positive since our last update. This horse reported a fever last Friday and was tested on Friday. On Saturday the test report came back negative. Another test was taken on Sunday and sent to the lab on Monday. The test taken was a broader respiratory panel but also included EHV-1. The test was completed yesterday, and the horse had now tested positive for EHV-1. It was placed in isolation, though its fever had already returned to normal. The horse is doing well. The horse had been under tight bio security protocols since Friday. The exposed cohort in Barn 6 has been placed in quarantine in a new tent in a separate area of the horse park. We have also had one new horse test negative today.
I am asked frequently, “What does this all mean?” We are working closely with the vets at the CDFA and the head vet at US Equestrian. We have also received great support from the team at East-West. I am not a veterinarian so I can only provide the perspective that we get from them. First, the strain of EHV-1 we are seeing thus far has resulted in relatively mild symptoms, and horses are recovering quickly. Adherence to USEF’s EHV-1 vaccination requirement has also very likely contributed to reduced severity of clinical signs.
Second, while we are seeing sporadic new cases, the total number is small. And third, the impacted barns, 34 and 6, are not seeing any additional fevers at present. We are getting through this infection. It does not mean that we won’t have further cases. We are testing all horses on the grounds with a fever and, along with additional tests done on infected horses, we send 4-6 samples a day to the lab. I am trying to send an update every two days as we get a more complete picture of the situation.
Again, we appreciate the support and patience of everyone as we navigate this situation. Please feel free to send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.