12/4/14 Vesicular Stomatitis (VS): 369 Colorado Quarantines Since Beginning of Outbreak

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 4, 2014

Contacts:   

Veterinarians and Livestock Owners:  State Veterinarian’s Office, (303) 869-9130

Media:  Christi Lightcap, (303) 869-9005Christi.Lightcap@state.co.us

 

Vesicular Stomatitis (VS): 369 Colorado Quarantines Since Beginning of Outbreak

 

BROOMFIELD, Colo. –As of 12/3/2014, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office has 35 locations under quarantine after horses and cows tested positive for Vesicular Stomatitis (VS); 335 of the 369 quarantines have now been released.

 

“We continue to see some new cases of VS even with the colder fall weather. The last case reported by a veterinarian was November 26th so we’re seeing the incidence of VS in Colorado is decreasing rapidly. Please continue to be vigilant for the clinical signs of the disease and report any suspicious cases to the State Veterinarian’s Office,” said State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.

 

COUNTY

CURRENT QUARANTINES

Adams

3

Arapahoe

1

Elbert

1

El Paso

4

Fremont

3

Jefferson

2

Larimer

1

Logan

1

Morgan

4

Otero

4

Pueblo

4

Sedgwick

1

Weld

5

Total

34

See a map of Colorado counties with confirmed cases.

 

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. Positive premises are eligible for quarantine release 21 days after lesions have healed in all affected animals.

 

If you plan to transport your horse to another state, be sure to check with the State Veterinarian's Office in the state of destination as to any special new restrictions for movement of your horse into their state. Some states have instituted new requirements for the import of Colorado horses due to the VS outbreak.

 

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.

 

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 or on site observations at entry into events and then insect control measures during before during and after events occur,” said Roehr. “If event organizers have questions, they can contact our office.”

 

For additional information, contact the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office at 303-869-9130 or visitwww.colorado.gov/ag/animals.

  

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