Deadly horse virus spreads, 34 animals infected
ELKO (AP) – An outbreak of a deadly and highly contagious virus that’s infected horses in nine states and Canada has prompted postponement of the Senior Pro Rodeo in Elko.
The Elko Daily Free Press reports the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority will work with rodeo producers on rescheduling the event, which had been set for June 1-3 at the county fairgrounds.
Authority officials say two other Elko rodeos also are in jeopardy: the June 6 Gold Miners Rodeo and the June 17-19 Nevada State High School Rodeo.
They say work is under way at the fairgrounds to clean the grounds using a bleach process.
At least seven horses have died from the virus, Equine Herpes Virus-1, which poses no risk to humans and can be airborne and transmitted by touch or by sharing feed, brushes, bits and other equipment.
The virus has infected at 34 horses.
More than 1,000 animals are known to have been exposed through direct or indirect contact with infected horses, which are among 400 that attended the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah earlier this month.
Infected animals usually get sick between two and 14 days after they are exposed to the virus. Symptoms include fever, sneezing, staggering and partial paralysis.
Colorado has the most confirmed cases so far, with 9 horses testing positive for the virus and two that died. Other states had greater potential exposure – like Oregon, where 140 animals have been exposed to the virus – but fewer actual cases.