The Hollywood Gaming at the Mahoning Valley Race Course has closed its stable gates, not allowing horses in or out of the facility due to a highly contagious disease in the horse stables.

A text announcement was sent out Tuesday night from the facility that read, "Effective immediately, Mahoning Valley is closing the Stable Gate to all horse traffic in and out."

A statement from Hollywood Gaming provided to 21 News stated, "Out of an abundance of caution, we have closed our stable gates to any horses shipping in from around the region to limit the exposure of an equine illness.   The track remains open while we continue to follow the requisite safety protocols outlined by the American Association of Equine Practitioners."

The Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, a group that negotiates and represents its members' interests with track management at Ohio’s tracks, posted on its website Tuesday night, "Due to ongoing Strangles issues Mahoning Valley Race Course management has decided that effective immediately and until further notice there will be no horses allowed to ship in or out of the barn area.

According to the Center for Equine Health, part of the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine in Davis, California, strangles is a highly contagious disease of a horse's upper respiratory tract caused by bacteria in the mucous membranes in the nose and mouth. The bacteria can infect the lymph nodes and cause abscesses that may rupture, compressing the upper respiratory tract.

The Center says horses can become infected through breathing or eating the bacteria, including horse-to-horse contact, drinking contaminated water, or contact with infected material or equipment.

While most horses recover from the disease, complications that occur in approximately 10 percent of the cases can have a mortality rate of up to 40 percent, according to the Center for Equine Health.

Hollywood Gaming said that the issue first began in January in one barn, which was lifted last week, but now has another barn under quarantine.

Quarantining horses for strangles is recommended for at least three weeks and testing for the disease.

The other stables within the facility are not impacted, and racing will continue as scheduled.