Merced County Cooperative Extension
Merced County Cooperative Extension
Merced County Cooperative Extension
University of California
Merced County Cooperative Extension

Vesicular stomatitis alert

Vesicular stomatitis has been confirmed in horses at one premises in Texas on May18th. Included below you will find the alert from USDA and from Texas. Please forward this information to cattle, swine, equine, sheep and goat owners or managers. Monitor the CDFA website for useful links and additional information. Click here to go to the CDFA website. FROM USDA: On May 18, 2004, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, IA, confirmed the finding of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in horses at one premises in the State of Texas. VSV is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, cattle, and swine. The virus that causes VSV has a wide host range. VSV also occasionally affects sheep and goats. In affected livestock, VSV causes blisterlike lesions to form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals generally refuse to eat and drink and show signs of lameness. Severe weight loss usually follows, and in dairy cows, a severe drop in milk production commonly occurs. Affected dairy cattle can appear to be normal and will continue to eat about half of their feed intake. On May 10, 2004, a foreign animal disease investigation was initiated at a roping facility in Balmorhea, TX, just south of the New Mexico State line, due to a report of tongue lesions in horses on the premises. There are six additional horses and eight steers on the infected premises that show no signs of lesions. Serum was taken from all nine horses on the premises and submitted to NVSL for testing. After the first round of testing, three out of the nine horses were cELISA positive for VSV. One of the three horses had a CF titer of >1:40 for the New Jersey strain. The second set of serum samples from the three horses were received by NVSL on May 18, 2004. Results from the second set of serum samples were consistent with the case definition for VSV which is based on compatible clinical signs and appropriate laboratory confirmation which may include virus isolation or a four-fold increase in complement fixation (CF) or serum neutralization titer in paired sera collected at least 7 days apart. In the remaining six horses, initial results ranged from sero titers in the 1:20 to 1:40 range on CF. Preliminary test results on the steers from the infected premises have come back negative on the cELISA for the NJ strain. Additional testing is being conducted by NVSL on the steers. The infected premises has been placed under quarantine. There is no history of exposure, no recent herd additions, no excursions from the herd with animals returning to the premises, and no vicinity exposure to other herds with potential fenceline contact. The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is beginning a public information and education campaign regarding VSV and are in the process of performing an area surveillance evaluation. Veterinary Services and TAHC will continue to monitor the situation and conduct response activities in an effort to minimize trade restrictions. The need for increased surveillance and reporting should be communicated to all facilities and personnel of the national animal disease monitoring network. Early detection remains the key to minimizing the impact of such a disease introduction. Please forward this information to your federal, State, and industry counterparts as necessary. For additional information on VSV please refer to the following APHIS webpage. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/lpa/pubs/fsheet_faq_notice/fs_ahvs.html If you have any questions about this situation, please feel free to call the Emergency Management Staff at 800-940-6524 or the TAHC at 1-800-550-8242. FROM Texas Supplies of a free TAHC brochure on Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) are available by request to ceverett@tahc.state.tx.us Please let me know how many you need and a mailing address, please. The brochure also appears on the TAHC web page at http://www.tahc.state.tx.us News Release Texas Animal Health Commission Box l2966 * Austin, Texas 78711 * (800) 550-8242 * FAX (512) 719-0719 Bob Hillman, DVM * Executive Director For info, contact Carla Everett, information officer, at 1-800-550-8242, ext. 710, or ceverett@tahc.state.tx.us For release May 19, 2004 Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Confirmed in West Texas; First U.S. Case Since l998 The country's first case of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) since 1998 was confirmed Wednesday, May 19, on a premise with nine horses and eight head of cattle near Balmorhea, in Reeves County in west Texas. VS is a viral disease that occurs sporadically in the U.S., usually in southwestern states. The disease can affect horses, cattle and pigs, and occasionally, sheep, goats and deer, causing blisters to form in the animal's mouth, on teats or along the hooves, resulting in excessive salivation, lameness or oozing sores. The clinical signs of VS can cause concern because they mimic those of a highly contagious foreign animal infection?foot-and-mouth disease (FMD)?which has been eradicated in the U.S. since 1929. Laboratory tests must be run to differentiate between the two diseases, when cattle, pigs, sheep or other cloven-hooved animals develop signs of the disease. Unlike FMD, VS also can affect horses and other members of the equine family. Although the disease does not affect food safety, infected livestock are withheld from slaughter until they recover. "We always launch a disease investigation when blisters or sores are reported in livestock, to determine if foot-and-mouth disease has been introduced into the U.S.," said Dr. Max Coats, deputy director for Animal Health Programs for the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC), the state's livestock and poultry health regulatory agency. "Because horses are not susceptible to FMD, we knew, in this case, that the animals had vesicular stomatitis (VS), or possibly had come in contact with poison or a toxic plant. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, has confirmed that the three horses in Reeves County have VS." Dr. Coats said researchers have determined that VS outbreaks are started by a virus transmitted by arthropods, such as ticks, mites, biting midges, mosquitoes or house flies. Following an incubation period of two to eight days, infected animals may develop clinical signs of disease. The outbreak then can be perpetuated by biting insects that carry the disease from infected to healthy livestock. VS-infected animals also can spread the virus if their saliva or the fluid from ruptured blisters contaminates equipment or feed shared by herd mates. Sick animals should be isolated until they heal, he said. --more-- Add one/Vesicular Stomatitis in Texas 2004 Dr. Coats noted that all livestock on the affected ranch in Reeves County will remain quarantined for several weeks, until they no longer pose a health threat to other livestock. Prior to quarantine release, the animals will be re-examined by a state or federal regulatory veterinarian, to prevent the spread of disease to other premises. "VS is rarely fatal, and infection usually runs its course in a couple of weeks," commented Dr. Coats. "Infected livestock may need supportive care to prevent secondary infections where blisters have ruptured. The affected animals also may lose condition, because they will avoid eating as long as their mouth is sore. Lesions can also occur along hooves, resulting in temporary lameness." "The only thing 'regular' about VS is its irregularity," he said. "Thirteen years passed between a l982-83 outbreak of VS and one in l995 that involved infection on more than 365 ranches in five states. These affected states were New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Texas, where infection was confined to only one premise." "Texas was spared in May l997, when the disease was detected in Arizona in horses. By late fall, when the outbreak ended, infection had been detected on 380 ranches in four states; Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah," he continued. "Prior to the today's case, VS was most recently confirmed in l998, in Texas' Reeves County, and in New Mexico." "As a biosecurity measure, ranchers and veterinarians should wear rubber or latex gloves when handling potentially infected animals, and they should wash their hands thoroughly afterward. Humans reportedly may contract VS and develop flu-like symptoms that can last four to seven days," warned Dr. Coats. "If your livestock develops blisters, erosions or sores, don't pass it off as another case of VS," Dr. Coats said. "It is extremely important that we collect samples and have laboratory tests run to determine the cause of illness. Report these signs of disease to your private veterinary practitioner or the TAHC immediately. The TAHC hotline number is operational 24 hours a day at 1-800-550-8242, and a TAHC or U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinarian always is on call to take reports and work with your private veterinarian at no charge." "If you plan to ship horses or other livestock out of state, contact the state of destination prior to transporting the animals," urged Dr. Coats. "Because VS has been confirmed in Texas, some states may require our shipments of livestock to undergo additional inspections or testing. Producers and veterinarians may contact the TAHC at 1-800-550-8242, if they need contact information for animal health officials in other states."
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