First Vesicular Stomatitis Cases of 2020 Confirmed in New Mexico
In its April 13 Situation Report, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the year’s first cases of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in the United States. Horses on two premises tested positive for VSV (Indiana serotype) — a single horse on a Dona Ana County premises, which met the case definition of infection with compatible clinical signs and virus isolation-positive results, and another premises in adjoining Sierra County — which met the case definition with compatible clinical signs and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)-positive results.

The Dona Ana County horse, which is the only horse on its premises, presented with coronary band lesions around April 6. No other animals, including livestock, reside on the premises, and no livestock have moved on or off the premises.

At the Sierra County premises, only one of the three horses in residence showed coronary band lesions, around April 8. No other susceptible species reside on the premises, and no livestock have moved on or off the premises. Both premises are under state quarantine.

VSV-Indiana serotype was last isolated in the United States during the 2019 VSV outbreak.

VS 101

Vesicular stomatitis can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals. Lesions usually heal in two or three weeks.

Because of the virus’ contagious nature and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover with supportive care by a veterinarian.

“Vesicular stomatitis has been confirmed only in the Western Hemisphere,” APHIS said on its website. “It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America, and outbreaks of the disease in other temperate geographic parts of the hemisphere occur sporadically. The Southwestern and Western United States have experienced a number of vesicular stomatitis outbreaks, (and) the most recent and largest VS outbreak occurred in 2015. Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.”

Some states and other countries might restrict movement of, or impose additional requirements for, susceptible animals from states having known VS cases. Before moving livestock, contact the state of destination for its requirements.