By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Texas animal health officials reported receiving four new reports of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) in equine and cattle– Hudspeth County, Kerr County,  McMullen County and Zapata County.


The VSV-infected animals have been isolated on their individual premises and are being monitored by their veterinarians. The four premises will remain under Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) quarantine until 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last affected animal on each premises.

The United States 2020 VSV outbreak began on April 13, 2020, when NVSL confirmed the first VSV-positive premises in New Mexico. Since that time, VSV has been confirmed in Arizona and Texas.

The first case of VSV in Texas was confirmed in an El Paso County horse. Since that time, the virus has been confirmed in Kerr, Hudspeth, McMullen, Starr, and Zapata counties.

VSV is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, but can also affect cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. The disease is characterized by fever and the formation of blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, ears, hooves and teats. Infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to weight loss. Vesicular stomatitis can be painful for infected animals and costly to their owners.  Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, and can develop flu-like symptoms.

The primary way the virus is transmitted is from biting insects like black flies, sand flies and midges. Owners should institute aggressive measures to reduce flies and other insects where animals are housed. VSV can also be spread by nose-to-nose contact between animals. The virus itself usually runs its course in five to seven days, and it can take up to an additional seven days for the infected animal to recover from the symptoms. Premises with animals diagnosed with VSV are quarantined until at least 14 days after the last affected animal is diagnosed. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV.