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Vesicular Stomatitis (VSV) in Texas Situational Update

published: October 25th 2019
source: Texas Animal Health Commission
AUSTIN – Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was confirmed in horses on a Collin County premises on October 22, 2019. This newly identified case comes six weeks after the last confirmed case of VSV in Texas.
"It is not uncommon to see sporadic cases following a VSV outbreak,” stated Dr. Susan Rollo, Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) State Epidemiologist. “As colder weather sets in, we expect to see fewer disease vectors that could transmit the disease.”
 
Texas equine owners will see movement restrictions reinstated between states and countries receiving horses from the state. Producers are encouraged to contact the state of destination for official entry requirements prior to movement. For state animal health agency information visit: https://www.usaha.org.
 
TAHC will publish VSV updates upon new confirmations or at the time all countries and states have lifted movement restrictions.
 
To date, 172 premises in 37 Texas counties have been quarantined for VSV.  
 
Summary of the Outbreak
The 2019 VSV outbreak began on June 21, 2019, when the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa confirmed the first VSV-positive premises in Kinney County, Texas. All cases of VSV had been found on equine premises until July 30, 2019 when the first case of VSV was confirmed in cattle in Gonzales County. To date, VSV-positive premises have been confirmed in 8 states: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.
 
Classification of Cases
Premises that had laboratory diagnostic confirmation of VSV were categorized as confirmed positive premises. Once a county was confirmed as VSV-positive, new premises presenting with clinical signs of VSV in that county were not required to be tested for confirmation of the disease, but the premises were quarantined and classified as a suspect premises. 
What Veterinarians Need to Know:
What Equine and Cattle Owners Need to Know:
  • VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle.
  • In the past decade, southwestern and western states have experienced a number of VSV outbreaks. Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months,
  • VSV normally has an incubation period of 2-8 days before the infected animal develops blisters that swell and burst, leaving painful sores. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or by blood-feeding insects.
  • If VSV is confirmed, infected animals are quarantined for 14 days after clinical signs of lesions are observed. This short-term quarantine helps prevent the movement of animals and the spread of the disease to other premises, fairs or markets.
 
Strategies for Preventing VSV
Even with the best defensive measures, VSV could infect a herd. However, these tips may help protect livestock:
  1. Control biting flies
  2. Keep equine animals stalled or under a roof at night to reduce exposure to flies
  3. Keep stalls clean
  4. Feed and water stock from their individual buckets
  5. Don’t visit a ranch that’s under quarantine for VSV. Wait until the animals have healed.

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