March 19 UPDATED: State veterinarian recommends all Nevada horse events through March 24 be canceled or postponed in light of statewide exposure

Horses at Nevada State High School Rodeo in Pahrump and Fernley may have been exposed to upper respiratory and neurological disease


Rebecca Allured
public information officer
(LAS VEGAS, Nev.) - March 15, 2019

March 19 update: NDA recommends all Nevada horse events this weekend be canceled or postponed in light of statewide exposure

State Veterinarian JJ Goicoechea strongly urges all equine events scheduled for this weekend to be canceled, especially in southern Nevada, in efforts to slow the spread of Equine Herpes Virus - Type 1 (EHV-1).

“Our recommendation is based on the likelihood of statewide exposure at an event March 8-10 in Fernley, and we are coordinating with event managers to take every precaution to mitigate continued spread,” Dr. Goicoechea said.

March 18 update

State Veterinarian JJ Goicoechea has received reports of two more confirmed cases of EHV-1 in Nevada and has quarantined two additional horse facilities in Clark County. All horse owners in Nevada are urged to take temperatures on horses at least twice a day and check for signs of respiratory disease. More recommendations from Dr. Goicoechea related to horse events and boarding may follow in the coming days in efforts to slow the spread of EHV-1, which can cause neurologic disease in horses.

7:41 p.m. update

State veterinarian recommended all southern Nevada equine events scheduled for the weekend (March 15-17) be postponed.

Original March 15 release: State Veterinarian orders quarantine on horse facility in Clark County

One positive case of equine herpes virus type 1 (EHV-1) with neurologic signs has been reported in Clark County, and the Nevada Department of Agriculture State Veterinarian Dr. JJ Goicoechea has ordered a quarantine. There is no public health risk, therefore, details about the facility will not be released per NRS 571.160.

“I have issued this quarantine to help prevent the spread of disease during equine event season in Nevada and surrounding states,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “Equine Herpes Virus-1 can cause respiratory disease in young horses, abortions in pregnant mares and neurologic disease in older horses.”

Horses at the Nevada State Junior/High School Rodeo that took place Feb. 22-24 in Pahrump may have been exposed and should be monitored for signs of disease, such as fever, cough or runny nose.

The average incubation period for EHV-1 is four to seven days, but some may take up to 14 days. Eight to 12 days after infection first appears, neurological disease may occur.

EHV-1 is a reportable disease, meaning when veterinarians diagnose it, they are required to notify the Nevada Department of Agriculture, per NRS 571.160. A list of reportable diseases can be found at

State veterinarian says: monitor horses, practice biosecurity

“I urge all horse owners to monitor their horses closely, taking temperatures twice daily and seeking veterinarian care for any fevers over 102 degrees,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “It is especially important to practice biosecurity to minimize the risk of spreading disease.”

Biosecurity means doing everything possible to reduce chances of an infectious disease being transferred by people, animals, equipment or vehicles. EHV-1 and other diseases can be easily transferred on boots, coats, gloves and equipment. Some basic practices include:


  1. Never share equipment between horses, and always wear clean clothes when going from ill horses to others.
  2. Always start chores at healthy horses, and end with sick or recovering (within 30 days) horses.
  3. Avoid common areas such as hitching rails, wash racks, etc. during an outbreak.


About the NDA

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) promotes a business climate that is fair, economically viable and encourages a sustainable environment that serves to protect food, fiber and human health and safety through effective service and education. The NDA includes the divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry.