By NewsDesk    @infectiousdiseasenews

Agriculture officials in Colorado report confirmed Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) cases in 14 counties since the first cases in Weld County in early July. The following counties have seen cases–Adams, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Conejos, Delta, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, and Weld.

Colorado counties map/David Benbennick

All the VSV cases were in horses except for one cow in Boulder County.

Officials say an incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle but occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas will show clinical signs. The transmission process of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies, and biting midges.

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The incubation period ranges from 2-8 days. Clinical signs include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, ears, teats, and coronary bands. Often excessive salivation is the first sign of disease, along with a reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and weight loss may follow.

Humans may become infected when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event.  To avoid human exposure, individuals should use personal protective measures when handling affected animals.

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