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VSV Confirmed in First Texas Horse for 2020

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed in its April 23 situation report that two horses on a Starr County, Texas, premises tested positive for vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), New Jersey serotype. The index premises, along with a second nearby equine premises in Starr County where an additional horse was identified, met confirmed VSV case definition with compatible clinical signs and subsequently tested positive.
The index premises and the subsequent premises contain four horses and five cattle. The two index horses showed clinical signs (lip lesions) around April 19 and the third around April 21. No clinical signs have been observed in the cattle, and no animals have moved onto or off the premises. Properties with confirmed positive and suspect cases are quarantined for at least 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last animal affected on the premises.

VSV-New Jersey serotype (VSV-NJ) has not been identified in the United States since 2015. Other cases of VSV confirmed in 2020 (in New Mexico and Arizona) have been VSV-Indiana (VSV-IN) serotype. The last VSV outbreak involving both VSV-NJ and VSV-IN occurred in 1997-1998.

VS 101

Vesicular stomatitis virus can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats, or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and a number of other animals. Lesions usually heal in two or three weeks.

Because of the virus’ contagious nature and its resemblance to other diseases such as foot-and-mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately. Most animals recover with supportive care by a veterinarian.

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