Fans or thoroughbred racing at The Fair Grounds Racetrack in New Orleans might not be seeing some of their favorite mounts on the track anytime soon. The facility has experienced an outbreak of equine herpes. Because of that, the entire facility has been placed under a state-ordered quarantine.

Roughly 250 of the nearly 1,800 horses stabled at the track are currently sidelined because of the quarantine. That means there are still plenty of horses available to fill the tracks racing schedule. The outbreak of the equine herpes virus (EHV-1) appears to be confined to only a few barns. Those horses that have not been exposed to the virus or housed in those particular barns will be allowed to race.

Dr. Mike Strain commented in a story published by reporter Jeff Duncan of and the Times-Picayune.

This quarantine is being implemented out of an abundance of caution as we work to contain the disease. While there has been restricted movement of horses at the racetrack, at this point, we can not risk horses possibly leaving the Fair Grounds while some are still testing positive for the virus.

Officials from USDA Veterinary Services and Louisiana Racing Commission will continue to monitor the situation daily. Those agencies will be supported by officials with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry and the Fair Grounds facility.

The equine herpes virus is usually spread by horse to horse contact and is not considered to be a threat to humans.

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