University warns Mo. horse owners about virus

Thursday, May 19, 2011 ~ Updated 10:31 AM

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- Veterinarians at the University of Missouri in Columbia are urging horse owners to be alert for symptoms of a potentially fatal virus known as Equine Herpes Virus-1.

There are no confirmed cases in Missouri, but the university said Wednesday a regional outbreak of the highly contagious virus is occurring in states to the west.

The outbreak is traced to the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Odgen, Utah, which began April 30 and ended May 8. EHV-1 has been reported in 17 horses in at least nine states and Canada, and three have died.

The university says any horse that was at the Utah show should be closely monitored for symptoms that include nostril discharge, unusual tiredness, weakness standing and a high fever.

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