CA Horses Quarantined Due Deadly Outbreak

Virus outbreak hits California, 16 other states.

By The Associated Press
|  Thursday, May 19, 2011  |  Updated 7:03 AM PDT
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CA Horses Quarantined Due Deadly Outbreak

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(Photo by Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images)

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Horse owners and organizations nationwide are shutting down shows and other events in an effort to keep a deadly horse virus outbreak from spreading beyond a handful of Western states and Canada.

So far, at least 17 horses in Idaho, Utah, Colorado, California, Washington and Canada have been infected with the highly contagious Equine Herpes Virus-1, and at least three have died.

The highly contagious virus can be spread through contact, grass, feed, mud or water. It poses no threat to people but is easily spread among horses, alpacas and llamas.

The infected horses were among roughly 400 that attended the National Cutting Horse Association Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah, earlier this month.

54 California horses were at the event and 10 of them are sick.

Officials with the National Cutting Horse Association say they're closely monitoring the situation and that all NCHA-approved shows scheduled for this weekend have been canceled by the affiliates or show producers putting on the events.

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