Equine herpesvirus, like all herpesviruses, consists of a
capsid surrounded by an envelope. The envelope makes it susceptible to
detergents, since once the detergent has destroyed the envelope the
virus can no longer function. Herpesviruses are thought to be found in
all vertebrate species, and each one is very specific to its host
of transmission (1)
This virus is transmitted
from one horse to the other by the horse inhaling infected droplets or
by the horse eating material that has been contaminated by nasal
discharge or aborted fetuses.
This virus can survive for 14-45 days in the environment.
Herpesviruses stay latent in animals that they infect; this
means that they remain in the animal in an inactive state for a
lifetime without causing symptoms.