VSV present in 10 Kansas counties – WIBW

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – Vesicular Stomatitis is now present in 10 Kansas counties.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture says Vesicular Stomatitis Virus has now been confirmed in 10 counties in the state.

KDA says its Division of Animal continues to respond to the outbreak that began in south-central Kansas in mid-June and has now expanded to the north and east. It says over 60 premises have tested positive for VSV in Butler, Chase, Cowley, Greenwood, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morris, Sedgwick and Sumner counties.

KDA says it is also waiting for lab results from symptomatic animals in other counties as the outbreak continues to spread.

According to the department, all premises with confirmed cases of VSV in horses have been quarantined and any premises with animals showing clinical signs consistent with VSV have also been placed under quarantine. It says almost 50 premises are currently under quarantine.

KDA says a quarantine for VSV lasts for 14 days from the onset of symptoms on the last animal on the premises and is not lifted until a veterinarian has examined all susceptible animals on the premises. It says over 70 premises have been released from quarantine.

The department says VSV is a viral disease primarily affecting horses, but can also affect cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. At this time, the vast majority of confirmed cases of VSV in Kansas have been in horses, while some cattle have also been diagnosed.

The KDA says it has advised the beef industry to be vigilant in monitoring cattle for symptoms.

“As this VSV outbreak continues, we ask all owners of horses and other livestock to monitor your animals for symptoms of VSV, and be in communication with your veterinarian if you see anything of concern,” Dr. Justin Smith, Animal Commissioner said. “You can help slow the spread of this virus by taking aggressive steps to limit exposure to insects that are the primary source of infection and by keeping your horses separate from other horses which may be infected.”

The KDA says in horses, VSV is characterized by lesions appearing as crusting scabs on the muzzle, lips, ears, coronary bands or ventral abdomen. Other clinical signs include fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, ears, hooves and teats.

According to the department, VSV can be painful for infected animals and costly to owners. It says while rare, humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals and can develop flu-like symptoms.

The KDA says the primary way the virus is spread is from biting insects like black flies, sand flies and midges. It says owners should institute robust measures to reduce flies and other insects where animals are housed. VSV can also be spread from nose to nose contact between animals.

According to the KDA, the virus itself usually runs its course in five to seven days and can take up to an additional seven days for infected animals to recover from symptoms. There are no approved vaccines for VSV.

The KDA says it has developed guidelines to assist organizations that are hosting shows and fairs across the state, and have worked with many of them to consider how they can protect the health and safety of animals attending their events.

The department says VSV has also been confirmed in Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas and because of the confirmed cases in Kansas, other states and Canada are likely to increase restrictions on livestock imports.

Animal health officials say they strongly encourage livestock owners and veterinarians to call the animal health authority in the destination location for the most current import requirements prior to travel.

For more information on VSV visit the KDA website.

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