From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 5, Number 22 - August 25, 2005
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VSV cases increase to 12

by Cat Urbigkit

Wyoming now has 12 cases of vesicular stomatitis virus cases spanning four counties, and the number of cases is expected to continue to rise, according to Wyoming State Veterinarian Dwayne Oldham.

By Wednesday afternoon, six VSV cases had been confirmed in Sublette County, three cases in Bighorn County, two in Goshen County and a single case in Washakie County. Some cases involve cattle, while others involve horses. All 12 premises in the state remain under quarantine while the virus is given time to run its course.

Oldham said that in addition to the 10 cases, there are quite a few others under investigation, both within the four affected counties as well as within two other counties.

Oldham said he expects the number of confirmed cases to continue to increase, with a decline anticipated when cold weather hits.

VSV is a sporadic, re-emerging disease characterized by blister-like lesions on the tongue, lips, oral and nasal mucosa, teats, prepuce or coronary bands of cattle, horses and swine. VSV has an incubation period of two to eight days, before the infected animal develops blisters that swell and burst, leaving painful sores.

Transmission of VSV is not fully understood, but it is known that the disease may be spread from animal to animal or by biting insects. Oldham said two types of flies are known carriers of the virus: both sandflies and black flies.

Infected animals can also spread the virus when their saliva or the fluid from ruptured blisters contaminates feed, water or hay shared with the herd. VSV infections will usually run their course in two to three weeks, at which time animals will begin healing. VSV outbreaks usually, but not always, end with the fall's or winter's first freeze, according to information from the Wyoming Livestock Board.

Clinically, VSV and foot and mouth disease look alike; therefore, laboratory tests are necessary to differentiate between them. FMD is a highly contagious foreign animal disease that can affect cloven-hoofed animals including pigs, cattle, sheep, goats, and deer; therefore, it is very important that producers and other livestock owners report any suspect animal to their local veterinarian. VSV, although similar in appearance to FMD, is amuch different virus and not nearly as contagious. To date, VSV has been found in Utah, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Montana.

Due to the recent VSV finding in Wyoming, Canada will no longer accept horses originating from the state of Wyoming. This restriction is in place until further notice.

Wyoming horses may enter Canada only if they have been outside the state for a minimum of 21 days. Proof will be required, and the animals' international health certificates must be issued and endorsed in astate other than Wyoming. Canada may still refuse entry of such horses. Other susceptible species such as pigs and cattle are already in eligibleto enter Canada due to an earlier finding of BSE in the United States.

In response to outbreaks of the virus in several western states, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture issued a revised importation order imposing restrictions on importation of livestock from any state with a confirmed case of the virus.

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