10 Central Florida farms linked to horse herpes

Marion County horse farms now quarantined by state

OCALA, Fla. - Ten farms in Marion County have now been quarantined after the state said they are tied to an outbreak of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1) at HITS' Post Time Farm in Ocala.

Kyle Dewars said 12 of his jumping horses were under the same tent as an infected horse and are now being closely monitored by the state.

"None of them has shown any signs of sickness, and they're all in complete full works," he said.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is not taking any chances.

There are a total of six horses infected with the highly contagious virus, which is spread from horse to horse by coughing and sneezing.

"When you have an infected horse that has come in contact with other horses, you really have to monitor the situation, whether it be on one of the farms that the horses went to or preferably at the HITS show ground itself," said Mark Fagan, Florida Department of Agriculture Spokesperson.

Dewar hopes his horses will test negative for the virus next week and the quarantines will be lifted.

"At the end of the day, we just want to compete, and also have healthy horses, those are the two most important things for us," he said.

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