Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick is urging West Virginia horse owners to step up precautions after recent outbreaks of equine herpes in other states.

The infections can cause respiratory disease, abortions, neonatal deaths and neurological diseases.

Cases have been diagnosed recently in California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, Tennessee and Utah.

State Veterinarian Jewell Plumley says Horse owners should consider such things as facility layout, feeding and watering procedures, decontamination protocols and immunizations.

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