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Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Infection in Horses in Texas, New Mexico
The National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirmed findings of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) Indiana serotype (IN) infection on premises in Kinney and Tom Green Counties in Texas, and a third premises in Sandoval County, New Mexico. These three premises are under state quarantine. There has been no diagnosis of VSV-IN in the United States since 1998. While there are other animals on these premises, only horses presented clinical signs to date. The Kinney County premises is the 2019 VSV index case for the United States.
VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. The disease is spread by insects and direct contact with infected animals. Black flies, sand flies, and biting midges are known carriers of this disease, but other insects may also be capable of transmission. The virus can also be spread on shoes, clothing, hands, and contaminated equipment. Biosecurity measures and vector mitigation are in place to reduce the spread of virus within the affected herds. It is possible for humans to also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals. All individuals handling lesioned animals are therefore cautioned to use personal protective equipment to prevent animal to human transmission.
If you suspect VSV in your livestock, contact your local state animal health official.