Vesicular Stomatitis Hits Premises in Fifth Kansas County
In its July 7 Situation Report, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed Montgomery County as newly infected with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), with one confirmed positive equine premises.

Since the previous Situation Report on July 2, officials have confirmed nine new premises as positive and identified four new suspect equine premises.

Counties with new VSV cases include:

  • Butler (4 new confirmed positive premises—three equine and one cattle—and one new suspect equine premises);
  • Cowley (1 new confirmed positive cattle premises and two new suspect premises, one equine and one cattle);
  • Greenwood (1 new confirmed positive and 1 new suspect premises, both equine);
  • Montgomery (1 new confirmed positive equine premises); and
  • Sedgwick (2 new confirmed positive equine premises).

Previously VSV-infected or suspect premises that have been released from quarantine include the following counties:

  • Butler (13)
  • Cowley (1)
  • Sedgwick (3)

Veterinarians quarantine and monitor premises with confirmed positive and suspect cases for at least 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last animal affected.

VS 101

Vesicular stomatitis virus 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 … Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.” According to Angela Pelzel McCluskey, DVM, APHIS’ equine epidemiologist, the largest VS outbreak in more than 40 years of recorded history occurred in 2019.

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.