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NC horse farms closing for 2 weeks after 4 deaths

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RALEIGH, NC (AP) -- Some horse farms are closing for the public for two weeks after four Raleigh horses contracted a rare virus and had to be euthanized.

The horses were at the same Raleigh boarding facility. State officials confirmed last week they had equine herpesvirus-1.

The contagious disease causes upper respiratory infection and can cause neurological disease. The illness can spread by coughing or sneezing, as well as by direct contact with infected horses, feed and equipment.

Officials believe the virus is an isolated incident but are encouraging horse owners to separate horses that might have been exposed and watch their animals carefully.

The last known strain of this virus in North Carolina was two years ago. The illness only affects horses and not other animals.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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