Wyoming reports first case of VSV in horses; more than 200 premises -- all with horses -- in four states affected by virus.

Tim Lundeen, Editor

July 29, 2019

2 Min Read
Vesicular stomatitis outbreak continues to affect horses

Last week, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirmed a finding of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection (Indiana serotype) on an equine premises in Platte County, Wyo., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

APHIS said the horses on the premises met the case definition of infection with compatible clinical signs and virus isolation-positive results, which makes this finding the 2019 index case of VSV for Wyoming.

Additionally, between the July 18 and July 24 APHIS situation updates, VSV has been found on 40 new confirmed-positive and 38 new suspect premises in Colorado; on one new confirmed-positive and six new suspect premises in New Mexico, and on four new confirmed-positive and 11 new suspect premises in Texas.

APHIS said the 2019 VSV outbreak began on June 21, 2019, when NVSL confirmed the first VSV-positive premises in Kinney County, Texas. To date, all confirmed cases have been found on equine premises in these four states, APHIS said.

As of July 24, since the start of the outbreak, APHIS reported that 209 VSV-affected premises have been identified (124 confirmed positive and 85 suspect): Colorado has identified 134 affected premises in 10 counties, New Mexico has identified 37 affected premises in six counties, Texas has identified 37 affected premises in 13 counties and Wyoming has identified one affected premises in one county. Of these premises, 14 previously VSV-infected or suspect premises have completed the quarantine period and were released, APHIS said.

According to the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), in the past decade, the southwestern and western U.S. have experienced a number of VSV outbreaks. Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.

VSV normally has an incubation period of two to eight days before the infected animal develops blisters that swell and burst, leaving painful sores, TAHC said. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or by blood-feeding insects.

TAHC suggested that the following tips may help protect livestock from VSV:

1. Control biting flies.

2. Keep equine animals stalled or under a roof at night to reduce exposure to flies.

3. Keep stalls clean.

4. Feed and water stock from individual buckets.

5. Don’t visit a ranch that’s under quarantine for VSV; wait until the animals have healed.

For more information about VSV, visit https://www.tahc.texas.gov/news/brochures/TAHCBrochure_VS.pdf.

VSV is a reportable disease due to its resemblance to other diseases such as foot and mouth disease. Many states restrict entry of animals from affected states to minimize viral spread.

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