Number of Missouri VSV Cases Continues to Climb
In its July 30 Situation Report, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced four new confirmed positive and one new suspect premises with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in Missouri. The new premises are in:

  • Jasper County — one new confirmed positive and one new suspect equine premises;
  • McDonald County — one new confirmed positive equine premises; and
  • Newton County — one new confirmed positive equine premises.

Missouri currently contains five affected counties (confirmed positive premises, current premises quarantined):

  • Cedar — (2, 2)
  • Jasper — (8, 14)
  • Lawrence — (1, 1)
  • McDonald — (3, 3)
  • Newton — (8, 12)

Premises with confirmed positive and suspect cases are quarantined and monitored by veterinarians 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.