Turf Paradise Under Quarantine After Possible Horse Virus Found

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Thursday, January 28, 2016 - 7:18pm
Updated: Friday, January 29, 2016 - 10:07am
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Phil Latzman/KJZZ
Turf Paradise in Phoenix.

All 1,700 horses at Turf Paradise have been put under quarantine by the Arizona Department of Agriculture as officials hope to contain what could be a virus at the racetrack.

Three horses at the racetrack recently came from a track in New Mexico that had several confirmed cases of Equine Herpes Virus earlier in the week.

One horse at Turf Paradise was euthanized because it showed signs of neurological problems, a symptom of the virus.

Turf Paradise general manager Vincent Francia said no horses have been allowed in or out of the track because of how contagious the virus is.

“This virus is insidious and very contagious," Francia said. "You know a horse can get the virus from another horse, that’s obvious. But it can also get it from a person. If a person has touched an infected horse, he can give that virus to another horse.”

While the virus can’t be transmitted to humans, it can create severe neurological problems in horses.

Francia said this is the first time the racetrack has been affected by the virus.

“I am doing everything to protect our horses," he said. "And these are the protocols we must follow to ensure safety and protect the remaining horses from this virus.”

One track in Arkansas has banned horses from Arizona and New Mexico over the same fears.

Races at Turf Paradise will continue under the quarantine.

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