Club winning virus battle

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 April, 2007, 12:00am

Measures to contain an outbreak of equine herpes virus (EHV) appear to be working after the Jockey Club reported no new cases yesterday.

On Monday, the club's chief vet, Brian Stewart, said the number of horses that had exhibited symptoms of the disease had risen to 132 - 11 per cent of the racehorse population - since February 10 when the outbreak was first announced.

'All horses are having their temperatures taken twice a day, and trainers have been directed to report any elevated temperatures,' Stewart said yesterday. 'But over the course of today, there have been no additional horses affected.' The club was busy hosing down the aftershocks of some over-excited reports which compared the situation to the outbreak of equine influenza which shut down racing for three months in 1992.

'Equine flu has a far more significant impact,' Stewart said. 'Horses which contract equine flu show much more severe symptoms including high fever, coughing and other complications of the respiratory tract. Samples taken from the recently affected horses have confirmed they were not infected with equine influenza. The symptoms have been very mild with horses recovering within a few days.'