21 March 2021, The FEI has created a dedicated hub to collect and share all the latest information and developments around the outbreak of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1 – neurological form), which originated in Valencia (ESP) in February 2021. This outbreak led to the FEI cancelling international events in 11 countries on the European mainland from 1 March to 11 April 2021.
The FEI has been working with world leading epidemiologists since the early stages of the EHV-1 outbreak in mainland Europe. This group of EHV experts, which has provided science-based recommendations to the FEI throughout each phase of this outbreak, has now been formalised as the FEI Veterinary Epidemiology Working Group. Reports and recommendations from the Group will be published on a weekly basis and are available here: Reports.
This strain of EHV-1 is particularly aggressive and has already caused equine fatalities and a very large number of severe clinical cases. The science provided by the epidemiologists is clear – stopping competition for four weeks initially (and now an additional two weeks) is the only way to prevent the further spread of this terrible disease.
Figures for EHV-1 outbreak 2021 (updated 19 March 2021)
17 Equine deaths
Two on venue in Valencia, six in hospital in Valencia, two in Barcelona, five in Germany and two in Belgium. There are higher numbers being quoted on social media, but the official and confirmed figures are 17 equine deaths to date.
10 Countries with confirmed cases
BEL, DEN, ESP, FRA, GER, ITA, QAT, SVK, SWE, SUI
Note: USA recently announced a case of EHV-1 but this is not linked to the current outbreak in Europe.
12 European Nations in which International Events have been cancelled
Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain Sweden.
Note: These 12 countries reflect the nations which had International Events scheduled for the period 1 March to 11 April 2021. The FEI has also strongly recommended all European nations to proactively cancel national events during this period.