Vesicular stomatitis lesions

In its Sept. 17 Situation Report, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed two new premises as positive with vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) since its last Situation Report of Sept. 10. Newly confirmed premises are located in Sedgwick County, Kansas, and Camden County, Missouri. Both counties were previously quarantined in 2020, as well.

Since Sept. 10, APHIS released one previously VSV-suspect premises in Miami County, Kansas, and three previously VSV-infected or -suspect premises in Dallas, McDonald, and Phelps counties, Missouri.

Presently, premises remain quarantined in Sedgwick County, Kansas (1), and Camden (1), Ozark (1), and Phelps (1) counties in Missouri.

The 2020 VSV outbreak began in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, on April 13. Since then, 204 confirmed positive and 121 suspect premises have been identified in eight states: Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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 on the premises.

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.