In DepthVeterinary Science

Deadly viral outbreak ravages European horses

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Science  26 Mar 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6536, pp. 1297
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6536.1297

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Summary

An outbreak of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) at an international horse jumping competition in Valencia, Spain, in February has killed sickened scores of horses, leaving many so weak they couldn't stand and others exhibiting unusually aggressive behavior. At least 17 horses have died. The equestrian world is scrambling to stop the outbreak from spreading. For scientists, the drama has raised a host of questions. They are examining why EHV-1, which typically produces milder symptoms, appears to have hit these animals, particularly mares, unusually hard. Some are wondering whether drugs, or even the vaccine against EHV-1 may have played a role.

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