Over the past two weeks TheHorse.com has followed reports of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) positives in Florida, Utah, New Jersey, and Quebec. Sure, this isn’t our first encounter with EHV-1. As long as horses travel to and fro, and as long as they congregate at events and competitions, we’ll likely hear about the occasional EHV-1 case, associated cases, and sometimes even outbreaks.

I’m encouraged that this time around we haven’t really seen the kind of panicked response that occurred in spring 2011. Overall, due to the response of Horse Shows In The Sun (HITS) officials; Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, University of Florida, and local veterinarians; and savvy horse owners, the exchange of information about cases, quarantines, and import restrictions has remained relatively calm.

Photo: Photos.com

Still many aspects of EHV-1 are confusing (What do you mean the virus “behaves” in different ways? What is the wild-type vs. the neuropathogenic strain? Does it make a difference whether my positive horse has no clinical signs? Will vaccinating help in the face of an outbreak?).

To help clear confusion we’re hosting an online Q&A about equine herpesvirus-1 on Thursday night at 8 p.m. with neurologic disease researcher and veterinarian Dr. Rob MacKay of the University of Florida and epidemiologist and veterinarian Dr. Nicola Pusterla of the University of California, Davis. It’s your opportunity to get informed, understand the illness, and prepare in case veterinarians detect EHV-1 in your area. Sign up for an event reminder and submit your questions for this event.

In the meantime, I’ve compiled my favorite go-to resources for brushing up on EHV-1:

We hope you join us on Thursday night for the live event, and be sure to let us know if you hear of any breaking information on confirmed cases in your area.