A total of 27 horses across Texas and Colorado have now been confirmed with vesicular stomatitis since the outbreak began, nine more than last week’s update from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).
Five have since recovered, meaning 22 remain officially listed as positive cases – seven more than last week.
APHIS, a division of the Department of Agriculture, said in its July 21 update that four new premises had been confirmed with cases in horses – three in Texas and one in Colorado.
The new cases were confirmed in the last week through clinical signs and testing. They involved single properties in Travis, Bastrop and Guadalupe counties in Texas, and Boulder County in Colorado.
Each of the premises had one positive horse, except for the property in Bastrop County, which had five.
To date, a total of 16 positive premises have been identified in the two states. Two properties in Texas, in Kinney and Nueces counties, have been released from quarantine and there are currently six others in Texas on a 21-day countdown to being released.
There are, in total, eight counties in Texas which have had confirmed cases. They are Bastrop, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Nueces, Kinney, San Patricio and Travis counties.
Weld and Boulder counties are affected in Colorado.
Latest APHIS figures show that, of the 27 equines, 22 are in Texas and five are in Colorado. There are also two affected cattle, both in Texas.
The Texas Animal Commission puts the location of the three latest premises to test positive as follows:
- Four miles east of Webberville in Bastrop County.
- One mile northwest of Webberville in Travis County.
- Eight miles southeast of Seguin in Guadalupe County.
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.
Equids, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs, and camelids are all susceptible to the disease.
Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats, and above the hooves of affected livestock – symptoms similar to those of foot and mouth disease.
Vesicles are usually seen only early in the course of the disease. The transmission of VS is not completely understood, but components include insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and livestock movement.
While rare, human cases can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. In humans the disease can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.
Authorities says that veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal could have VS or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact state or federal animal health authorities.
Livestock with clinical signs of the disease are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no vaccines approved by the US Department of Agriculture for VS.
Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease. Authorities also recommend against transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment between herds.