(570 WSYR) Racing resumes this Friday and Saturday evening at Vernon Downs, more than a week after 3 horses came down with Equine Herpes, a life-threatening virus. Races ere cancelled last Saturday after one horse had to be put down. That horse and 2 others tested positive for the virus, which can be deadly to unborn and newborn foals and cause nerve damage.
Two barns and the grounds of the race track were quarantined, says Vernon Downs Regional Director, Jason Bluhm. No horses are allowed to leave or come in to the racetrack during the quarantine period. Bluhm says all the horses had been vaccinated against equine herpes, which he says is only 95 percent effective against the virus. Vetertinarians from the state and Vernon Downs are taking horses' temperatures twice a day to detect a high fever - a common cold symptom which can also be a sign of of Equine Herpes.
Horses not affected by the virus will be racing - starting this Friday and Saturday at 6:45 p.m. There are no Thursday races for now and no other horses have tested positive for the virus. Bluhm says the investigation continues to find the soruce of the outbreak.