Diagnosis and testing for equine herpes virus (EHV)

What is equine herpes virus?

Equine herpesvirus is a large family of viruses numbered EHV-1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. Not every EHV causes the same disease or same level of disease. The type of EHV of most concern is EHV-1, which is also a reportable disease. For more information on reportable diseases, you can visit the Washington State Department of Agriculture

What are the symptoms of equine herpes virus?

Equine herpesviruses can cause respiratory symptoms and abortion, but EHV-1 and EHV-4 can cause a neurological disease known as herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy (EHM). Some horses can be asymptomatic carriers of EHV and can spread the infection through direct horse-to-horse contact or by transfer on handlers’ hands, clothing, and equipment.

How can I protect against equine herpes virus?

The vaccines available for EHV are the best defense we have. Another important way to prevent infection is through proper biosecurity procedures, such as quarantine of exposed horses, disinfection of handlers and equipment, and testing. 

Where can I find out testing details and submission steps ?

EHV Testing at WADDL

Where can I get additional information about equine herpes virus?

You can contact WADDL directly at 509-335-9696 or see the links below.

 Page revised September 2022

Categories: Horses