2012 vesicular stomatitis outbreak wrapped up at Christmas


All quarantines have been lifted in New Mexico following an outbreak of vesicular stomatitis in horses, federal officials report.

Vesicular stomatitis has symptoms similar to those of foot and mouth disease.

Mouth blisters in a horse with vesicular stomatitis.
Mouth blisters in a horse with vesicular stomatitis.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (Aphis) reports that no quarantined properties remained in New Mexico as of December 24.

Colorado, the only other state affected in the 2012 outbreak, had its last quarantine lifted on October 4.

The just-released Aphis summary of the outbreak shows there were 49 cases of the disease in New Mexico affecting 24 properties across 10 counties.

In Colorado, the two identified cases were at two properties in separate counties.

On April 30, 2012, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed vesicular stomatitis virus on an equine property in Otero County, New Mexico. This was considered the index case for the virus for the United States in 2012.

On August 1, the laboratory confirmed a case of the same New Jersey serotype on an equine premises in Las Animas County, Colorado. This was considered the index case in Colorado in 2012.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, but this is rare.

Vesicular stomatitis has been confirmed only in the Western Hemisphere. It is known to be an endemic disease in the warmer regions of North, Central, and South America, but outbreaks of the disease in other temperate geographic parts of the hemisphere occur sporadically.

In the past decade, the Southwestern and Western United States have experienced a number of vesicular stomatitis outbreaks.

Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.

In some years, only a few premises in a single state have been affected. However, in other years, multiple states and many premises have been involved.

Vesicular stomatitis Q&A.



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