Two horses in the Penn Valley area of Nevada County tested positive for the highly contagious equine coronavirus, officials said.
The virus is not contagious to people, but it is easily transmitted to other horses through equine fecal matter and saliva, said Daniel Chatigny, interim agricultural commissioner for Nevada County.
“If the horse is eating fecal matter of another horse (who has the virus), it can be transmitted that way,” Chatigny said. If a horse licks a person’s hand, and that person touches another horse, it can get transmitted that way, Chatigny added.
Symptoms include lethargy, dehydration, loss of appetite and frequently lying down. Chatigny said that no other horses in Nevada County have tested positive for the virus and the mortality rate is low, but he urges anyone with concerns to contact their local equine veterinarian.
Chatigny says horse owners should take the following protection measures:
▪ Wash hands regularly and avoid contact with a contagious horse.
▪ Change clothes and shoes before and after entering the barn.
▪ Clean hoof picks, feed buckets and farm tools daily with bleach.
▪ Place stall waste and horse manure in a separate area.
▪ Limit interaction between ill horses and other horses until the virus has subsided (roughly three to four weeks.)
Jessica Hice: 916-321-1550, @Jess_Hice