Vesicular stomatitis cases confirmed in 6 Colorado counties
BROOMFIELD, Colo. — The Colorado Department of Agriculture has confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, La Plata, Larimer, and Weld counties in Colorado. At this time, all confirmed cases in Colorado have been in horses.
Please see the USDA APHIS Veterinary Services website to read the current situation report for all confirmed cases in the U.S at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-disease-information/cattle-disease-information/vesicular-stomatitis-info.
The first case of VSV in Colorado was reported on July 3 in Weld County by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. An incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VSV.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle, and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. The transmission process of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies and biting midges.
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The incubation period ranges from two to eight days. Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, ears, teats and coronary bands. Often excessive salivation is the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and weight loss may follow.
Humans may become infected when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event. To avoid human exposure, individuals should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.
Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease.
Avoid transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment from other herds.
Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met. Contact information for all state veterinarian offices is listed at https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/State%20Veterinarians%204-6-16.pdf.
Colorado fairs, livestock exhibitions, and rodeos may institute new entry requirements based on the extent and severity of the current VS outbreak. Certificates of veterinary inspection (or health certificates) issued within two to five days prior to an event can be beneficial in reducing risks. Be sure to stay informed of any new livestock event requirements. See the Vesicular Stomatitis Guidelines for Shows and Fairs at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fNo_6gdfTWb26O_BFK0pSL_YaNttLTf6/view.
Any vesicular disease of livestock is reportable to the State Veterinarian’s Office in Colorado. To report, call (303) 869-9130. If after hours, the voice message will indicate which staff veterinarian is on call. ❖
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