Vernon Downs quarantined for 2-3 weeks for outbreak of horse herpes

An outbreak of horse herpes has shut down racing temporarily at Vernon Downs in central New York.

Jason Bluhm, racing director for Vernon Downs, tells the Oneida Daily Dispatch that about five horses tested positive for equine herpes and one had to be euthanized. They were all from the same trainer and housed in the same barn.

Racing was cancelled Saturday night and all horse barns are under quarantine for 14 to 21 days.

Equine herpes is a term used for several highly contagious respiratory tract diseases in horses that are caused by two closely related herpes viruses. Symptoms are similar to a cold, but with a long-lasting high fever.

In the horse that was euthanized, the virus caused neurological damage making it difficult for the horse to walk.

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