"Rumors Swirling" After Horse Contracts Herpes

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Snohomish County veterinarian Dr. Wendy Mollat wants you to disregard whatever nasty rumors you've heard about how a local horse developed herpes. Those are false and destructive things to say, and they have no place in what should be a serious conversation about Equine Herpes Virus-1.

That strain of horse herpes is actually quite a severe disease which is often fatal to horses, and an outbreak of it has occurred that's being monitored closely by animal-welfare officials nationwide.

As The Everett Herald reports, the horse being treated by Dr. Mollat is at the Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital and is currently under quarantine.

Dozens of other horses have now been found to have contracted the virus, and all the animals seem to share one thing in common: They attended the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah, earlier this month.

But apparently the herpes has led to some nasty--albeit undisclosed--rumors about the disease's origin.

Mollat explains:

"This horse is quarantined, is being cared for in our equine isolation facility, and has had no contact with the rest of the animals here. We are using our bio-security protocols and are in touch with the state vet," Mollat said. "Nevertheless, there are lots of rumors swirling around out there, so we want to make sure that people know our hospital remains safe and open for business."

The disease is not contagious for humans. But anyone whose horse attended the Utah event or who has a horse that's hung out with other horses that went to the event is urged to have their animal checked ASAP.

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