Two Additional Strangles Cases Confirmed In Kentucky; One Barn Quarantined At Keeneland - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

Two Additional Strangles Cases Confirmed In Kentucky; One Barn Quarantined At Keeneland

The Kentucky Department of Agriculture is continuing to monitor an outbreak of strangles which began with a 3-year-old Thoroughbred filly at the Thoroughbred Training Center in Fayette County, Ky., according to an update posted to the Equine Disease Communication Center's website on Thursday afternoon.

On April 15, the index case presented with a swollen lymph node without signs of an elevated temperature. On April 18, laboratory results confirmed the organism responsible for causing strangles; the filly was unvaccinated against the disease.

Thursday's update indicates that an epidemiologic investigation has revealed the potential for the outbreak to reach two other facilities, Keeneland Race Course and a private training facility in Fayette County. The full update from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is as follows:

“The epidemiologic investigation continues, and after extensive testing of horses identified as having potential opportunity of exposure, we are in position to provide updated information and the current status of racing in Kentucky. We have one trainer that has/had horses in training on three separate premises.
Premises 1: All horses (19 under care of 2 trainers) in the affected barn at The Thoroughbred Center, were sampled and PCR testing identified one additional positive horse that was stabled next to the index case. Both positive horses have been removed from The Thoroughbred Center and remain isolated at a separate facility. Ten (10) horses under the care of the second trainer were all found negative. Horses in this affected barn will remain under quarantine and are being monitored daily for any signs of illness. The horses are bright, alert, responsive and remain healthy. The group of horses will be resampled next week.
Premises 2: 
The same trainer had nineteen (19) horses stabled in a barn at Keeneland Race Course. These horses were each examined yesterday morning and samples collected. Following the samples being collected, the horses were moved offsite to a private isolation where they remain under quarantine and daily monitoring. PCR testing on this group of horses identified one asymptomatic horse as having a low level of S.equi DNA. Testing of the horses under the care of the other two trainers were reported to be PCR negative. These horses do remain under quarantine, are being monitored daily and will be resampled next week. All horses continue to be bright, alert, responsive and remain healthy.
Premises 3: The same trainer has eight (8) horses in a single barn on a private training facility in Fayette County. An additional trainer has nineteen (19) horses stabled in this barn. These twenty-seven (27) horses were examined yesterday at the time of sampling. Nasal pharyngeal washes were collected from each horse late yesterday and submitted for PCR testing. Results from this testing will be reported later today.
As described above, we have tested multiple horses under the care of several trainers at each of the above premises and have found no evidence of the disease-causing organism beyond those horses under the care of the single trainer. The extensive monitoring continues and with the cooperation of our trainers, attending veterinarians, and horsemen we remain confident in receiving horses from The Thoroughbred Center (TTC) to enter and race at Keeneland. Horses originating from TTC are being examined by their veterinarian the morning of shipping and are accompanied with a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection stating the animals present no evidence of illness.”

The upper respiratory disease commonly referred to as strangles is caused by Streptococcus equi subsp equi. Strangles is spread from horse to horse through direct contact. Horses can also contract the disease by coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. The disease is highly infectious.

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