One Horse Dead, Others Quarantined in Indio
INDIO - One horse is dead and hundreds of others under quarantine after an outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus right here in the valley.
Horse stables are on high alert after a horse died at the Empire Polo Grounds.
This year, 15 horses tested positive for equine herpes in Orange County, and now a horse in Indio.
The gates at the Empire Polo Grounds are barred, the horses under quarantine.
A horse sickened Saturday and had to be put down Monday night.
"Even though it was treated, within a few days it went down and was unable to get up, so this was a very extreme case," said Dr. Michael Manno, veterinarian at Empire and Eldorado Polo Clubs.
This is the 16th confirmed case of the equine neurologic herpes virus in California, 15 of those in Orange County.
"We don't know that its related to any of the other horses that were in Orange County, at this point there's no connection that we can find," said Dr. Manno.
State officials started a mandatory quarantine-- no horses in or out at both Empire and Eldorado Polo Clubs.
"We're just hoping that it remains to one horse, but the possibility is based on other outbreaks means we could see more, we're hoping thats not the case, we contained this one very quickly," said Dr. Manno.
There is no danger to humans from the outbreak.
But in horses, equine herpes can cause flu-like sypmtoms in horses, and respiratory disease, or neurologic disease.
"It is a horse to horse transmission, it could possibly be transmitted from people that are working with the horses, even in outside cases dogs that might be walking around, just moving the virus around on their feet, so there's a pretty strict biosecurity measure we're going to take to keep everybody clean," said Dr. Manno.
Miles away at the HITS Show Grounds in Thermal the exposure risk is low.
But they are still taking precautionary measures such as stopping any daily ship-ins immediately to stay on the safe side.
Polo matches are suspended at the Empire Polo Grounds.
The quarantine will last 21 days until February 15th, unless there are any new cases.