A fifth horse in Florida died on Friday of equine herpes (or EHV-1, Equine Rhinopneumontis) at Payson Park, a 500-horse facility in Martin County which is now under state quarantine. Nine other equine facilities are also under quarantine.
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services believe the horse was infected at Wellington's Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex, the common link in all 10 of the known cases.
The department is looking at ways to properly dispose of virus-tainted manure, which can live in bedding and manure for up to 28 days. It may be burned on site or removed to another site for disposal.
The equestrian communuity in Ocala is concerned about the outbreak and state equine veterinarian Dr. Michael Short told a meeting late last week that there were “a lot of rumors out there … and most of them are false.”
The community is worried that panic over the virus in the region could hurt the industry, which is worth more than $2 billion a year in Florida.