No New Equine VSV Cases Reported
In its Sept. 24 Situation Report, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had no new cases of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) to announce. Since its previous Situation Report on Sept. 17, four previously VSV-infected premises in Kansas and Missouri were released from quarantine, leaving no premises currently quarantined in the U.S.

Premises released are in:

  • Kansas (Sedgwick County)
  • Missouri (Camden, Ozark, and Phelps counties)

VSV has been confirmed on 205 premises and suspected on 120 premises since the 2020 outbreak began in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, on April 13. Since then, cases have been confirmed* or suspected** in eight states:

  • Arizona – *18, **1 in 7 counties
  • Arkansas – *4, **0 in 1 county
  • Kansas – *101, **95 in 26 counties
  • Missouri – *36, **17 in 11 counties
  • Nebraska – *5, **0 in 3 counties
  • New Mexico – *13, **3 in 6 counties
  • Oklahoma – *18, **4 in 9 counties
  • Texas – *10, **0 in 6 counties

At this time in 2019 (APHIS Situation Report of Sept. 26), which tallied the highest number of cases in the past 40 years of recorded history, 151 premises remained quarantined for confirmed or suspect cases.

Premises quarantined during the 2019 season numbered 433 with confirmed positive cases and 645 with suspect cases. States affected included Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

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.