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VS confirmed in Texas

Lab results confirmed a case of vesicular stomatitis (VS) on a premises with nine horses and eight head of cattle near Balmorhea, Texas, according to news released yesterday by the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC).

The National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the highly-contagious, viral disease in three of the west Texas horses — the United State’s first case since 1998. The disease, which can affect horses, cattle, pigs, and occasionally sheep, goats and deer, has similar symptoms of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) including excessive salivation, lameness, oozing sores, and blisters in the mouth, along hooves or on teats.

VS usually occurs in southwestern states and is caused by a virus transmitted by arthropods like ticks, mites, mosquitoes or house flies. The rarely fatal disease is spread by such arthropods as well as the saliva or fluid from infected animals. Although it doesn’t affect food safety, infected animals are withheld from harvest until they recover.

Max Coats, TAHC’s deputy director for its animal health programs, said the affected livestock will be quarantined for several weeks until the infection runs its course and the animals are no longer a health risk.

Coats suggests ranchers and veterinarians wear rubber gloves when inspecting potentially infected animals to avoid contamination, which causes flu-like symptoms.

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