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Va horse owners warned of out-of-state outbreaks

Wednesday - 3/20/2013, 3:23pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia horse owners are being advised to take precautions following outbreaks of an equine disease in other states.

The disease, equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy, is highly contagious.

State veterinarian Dr. Richard Wilkes says outbreaks have occurred in the last few months in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah.

Wilkes said Wednesday that there haven't been any recent equine disease outbreaks in Virginia. But horses can become infected while traveling out of state and bring diseases home to their stables.

Recommended measures include minimizing direct contact between assembled horses and cleaning and disinfecting equipment, feed, tack, stalls and other surfaces shared between horses.

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