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Study Shows Equine Herpes Virus can Survive in Water for Long Periods

June 2017 by Cristina Wilkins, Editor-in-Chief, Horses and People Magazine

A new study challenges the tenet that herpes viruses, like most enveloped viruses, are relatively unstable outside their host.

Under a variety of conditions, Equine Herpes Virus remained stable and infectious over a three week period. This suggests that untreated water could be a source of infection by some herpesviruses. The results are reported in the scientific journal Scientific Reports.

There are actually nine different strains of Equine Herpes Virus, but only a few are clinically significant in horses. The most important are EHV-1 and EHV-4 as they produce the most virulent, easily communicable and most costly outbreaks across equine industries, all over the world. They are also prevalent in wild horse populations.