Confirmed 2015 Index Case of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

The New Mexico Livestock Board (NMLB) is working with USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services on the investigation of a case of vesicular stomatitis (VS) detected in a horse in Grant County, New Mexico. VS is an infectious viral disease of livestock that typically causes painful blister-like lesions on the lips, nostrils, tongue, coronary bands and teats. Humans can become infected when handling animals, contaminated materials, tissues, blood or viral cultures.

USDA-APHIS Veterinary Services notified the New Mexico State Veterinarian on April 29, 2015 that VSV was confirmed in a sample from a horse on a property in Grants County. The livestock on the property are under quarantine by order of the State Veterinarian.

The affected horse is in a herd of four horses. Twelve cows are also housed on the premises. There is no recent history of livestock movement from the premises.

Additionally, one horse on a premises in Otero County was also confirmed positive for VSV. The affected horse, an unaffected horse and nine cows are under quarantine. There is no recent history of livestock movement from the premises.

It is not fully known how VSV spreads; factors include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and movement of animals. The virus primarily affects cattle, horses, and pigs, causing blister-like lesions that can be painful enough to limit the animal’s eating and drinking. Affected animals typically recover in two weeks. Quarantine of infected and exposed animals, isolation of lesioned animals, good biosecurity practices and fly control are essential elements to control the disease.

New Mexico livestock producers should be aware that some restrictions or additional entry requirements may be necessary for interstate and international movement of livestock from New Mexico.

The State Veterinarian encourages managers and producers of major equine shows and events to call for guidance on ways to minimize disruption of shows and events.

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