Texas Now Free of VS, But Colorado Isn’t

For the first time since May, Texas has no active cases of vesicular stomatitis, but Colorado authorities are still dealing with the disease.

Outbreaks of vesicular stomatitis have been limited to the western United States since the 1980s, according to The Merck Veterinary Manual.


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An outbreak of vesicular stomatitis appears to have run its course in Texas, but dozens of locations in Colorado remain under quarantine.

The Texas Animal Health Commission last week reported no active cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS), a viral disease that forms blisters on the mouth, tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses and cattle, making eating and drinking painful or difficult. Pigs, sheep, goats and llamas may be stricken as well.

The first Texas case of the year was identified in late May in Kinney County. In the end, 62 premises in 13 counties were quarantined, bringing restrictions on the movement of infected or exposed animals.

The release of the last two quarantined premises—in Bastrop and Travis counties—marked what Texas authorities hope is the end of VS. Until May, the state had gone five years without a confirmed VS case.

“I would like to thank all cattle and equine owners and Texas veterinarians for the constant support and generous help with harnessing the spread of VS,” said Dee Ellis, DVM, the state veterinarian and executive director of the Texas Animal Health Commission. “All livestock that were tested positive for VS this year have been released because of the supportive care by veterinarians and caretakers.”

VS remains a threat in Colorado. Under quarantine as of Oct. 15 were 65 premises in 14 counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, El Paso, Fremont, Jefferson, Larimer, Logan, Morgan, Otero, Pueblo and Weld.

Colorado has reported positive VS tests at 326 locations, starting in mid-July in Weld County.

Texas and Colorado are the only states with VS cases this year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Vesicular stomatitis is believed to be transmitted through insects such as sand flies and black flies, contaminated equipment and the introduction of infected animals into disease-free herds.

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