Horse Herpes Forces Closure of Queen Creek Park

An outbreak of horse herpes has forced the closure of a Queen Creek Park.

Horseshoe Park & Equestrian Centre will be closed through at least June 2 to prevent the spread of the horse herpes, which is currently spreading throughout the Southwest.

According to the City of Queen Creek, "there have been no reports of infection at Horseshoe Park or within Queen Creek, but the Town is closing the park to protect the community and our equine visitors from any potential outbreak."

The Arizona Department of Health Services announced earlier this week that an Arizona horse has tested positive for the Equine Herpes Virus.

The horse, health officials say, probably contracted the disease at the National Cutting Horse Association's Western National Championships held in Ogden, Utah April 30-May 8 -- health officials in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, California, and New Mexico have reported suspected cases of horse herpes infection in horses that were at the Ogden event.

The symptoms of horse herpes may include a fever, nasal discharge, "wobbly gait," hind-end weakness, dribbling of urine, and diminished tail tone. According to the Department of Agriculture, transmission of horse herpes occurs by direct or indirect contact with infective nasal discharges, aborted fetuses, placentas, or placental fluids.

Officials say it's highly contagious.

Acting State Veterinarian Dr. John Hunt recommends that isolation and monitoring continue for 28 days after any clinical signs of horse herpes are observed.

For more information on horse herpes, click here.

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