Vesicular stomatitis spreads to La Plata County

By Christi Lightcap

Special to The SUN

As of July 15, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian’s Office had 19 locations in four counties under quarantine after horses, mules and a cattle herd on one facility tested positive for vesicular stomatitis (VS).

Delta County, eight current premises; La Plata County, two current premises; Montezuma County, four current premises; Montrose County, five current premises and two released quarantines.

“I encourage horse and other livestock owners, including dairies, to monitor which counties are affected and be vigilant about fly control. Controlling flies can go a long way in preventing the spread of this virus,” said State Veterinarian Keith Roehr. “Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for animals and costly to their owners. The virus typically causes oral blisters and sores that can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking.”

Livestock owners who suspect an animal may have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact their local veterinarian. Livestock with clinical signs of VS are isolated until they are determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for VS. While rare, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. VS in humans can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.

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