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Stable neighbour of index horse in Opglabbeek also positive to EHV-1

Friday, 07 May 2021

A second horse that has been in Opglabbeek, Belgium, has tested positive to EHV-1, the FEI announced yesterday. The horses are now in external quarantine off-venue. 

An update from the FEI reads: 

“The FEI was advised that the horse previously stabled immediately adjacent to the index horse in Opglabbeek (BEL) has also tested positive to EHV-1. The index horse remains positive following a retest, but the athlete’s other three horses have returned negative PCR tests. All five horses, which were previously in isolation onsite at Opglabbeek, are now in external quarantine off-venue and none are showing clinical signs. The five horses are all being blocked on the FEI Database and will be required to undergo a 21-day isolation period and then produce a negative PCR test result before they can be unblocked. 

The laboratory in Belgium that tested the samples from these horses will be requested to send the two positive samples to the OIE Reference Laboratory in Ireland or Ghent University for gene typing.

The Opglabbeek Organisers have contacted all athletes that had horses housed in the same stable tent as the index horse and have offered, as an extra precaution, to pay for PCR testing, even though the FEI does not view these horses as close in-contacts.”

The two positive cases from Opglabbeek were also among the subjects discussed in the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group's weekly meeting yesterday. The Group also reviewed the current situation in mainland Europe; the implementation of the Return To Competition measures and continued its discussions on defining and declaring an infectious disease outbreak. A report from the meeting will be published in the next 24 hours.

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