Agriculture: No new horse virus cases reported in Illinois

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say they haven’t received any new reports of equine herpes virus which sickened eight horses last week at Bartlett’s Sunset Hill Farm.

Agriculture Department spokeswoman Rebecca Clark said Monday the lack of new reported cases doesn’t necessarily indicate the outbreak of the virus EHV-1 is contained. She points out veterinarians are not required to report cases to the state.

Veterinarian Chris Downs told the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights he’s given booster shots to between 200 and 300 horses since the outbreak became public. He expects to give out just as many this week.

Downs said the initial vaccination for EHV-1 is similar to a flu shot. While it can’t completely protect a horse from the virus, the vaccination mitigates some symptoms and increases a horse’s immunity.