Vesicular Stomatitis: 222 Colorado quarantines
As of Aug. 27, 2014, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has 205 locations under quarantine after horses and cows tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS); 17 of the 222 total quarantines have now been released.
“The good news is that we have been able to release a number of quarantines and we expect that number to increase over the coming days and weeks. But, livestock owners must remain vigilant in their fly control. There is evidence that fly control as a prevention practice has been effective in disease prevention,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.
VS can be painful for animals and costly to their owners. The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking. In Colorado, there have been 313 horses and 7 cows that tested positive for VS.
County totals are:
· Adams – 10 (1 released)
· Boulder – 67 (6 released)
· Broomfield – 2
· Douglas – 1
· El Paso – 1
· Jefferson – 10
· Larimer – 56
· Weld – 75 (10 released)
For a map of Colorado counties with confirmed cases, visit http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wps/portal/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth?1dmy&urile=wcm%3apath%3a%2Faphis_content_library%2Fsa_our_focus%2Fsa_animal_health%2Fsa_animal_disease_information%2Fsa_equine_health%2Fsa_vesicular_stomatitis%2Fct_vesicular_stomatitis.
Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact State or federal animal health authorities. Livestock with clinical signs of VS are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS.
While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. VS in humans can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.
Colorado State University – Veterinary Diagnostic Lab (CSU-VDL) has assisted CDA and USDA in responding to the VS outbreak by acting as a sample drop-off site in which practicing veterinarians can drop off samples from possible VS cases. The samples are then packaged and submitted to the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa by state or federal personnel. CSU-VDL’s involvement has helped us to be more efficient in our response activities.
Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Signs and Transmission
VS susceptible species include horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids. The clinical signs of the disease include vesicles, erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, ears, teats, groin area, and above the hooves of susceptible livestock. Vesicles are usually only seen early in the course of the disease. The transmission of vesicular stomatitis is not completely understood but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.
“The State Veterinarian’s Office is not recommending that livestock shows be cancelled. Instead, it is more important to consider certificates of veterinary inspection prior to the event or on site observations at entry into events and then insect control measures before, during, and after events occur,” said Roehr. “If event organizers have questions, they can contact our office.”
–Colorado Department of Agriculture
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