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Vesicular stomatitis cases in American horses stand at 277

The tongue of a horse with vesicular stomatitis. Horses with the condition show blanched raised or broken vesicles around the upper surface of the tongue, surface of the lips and around nostrils, corners of the mouth and the gums.

The tongue of a horse with vesicular stomatitis. Horses with the condition show blanched, raised or broken vesicles around the upper surface of the tongue, surface of the lips and around nostrils, corners of the mouth and the gums.

The number of horses infected with vesicular stomatitis since the outbreak in Texas and Colorado began in May now stands at 277 – 109 more than a week before.

The outbreak shows no signs of abating, with a total of 76 properties with new cases identified since the last federal update a week ago.

There were no cases reported in 2013 and the current outbreak is already far worse than the 2012 outbreak, which ran from late April to late December. That season brought a total of 51 cases, 49 of which were in New Mexico and two in Colorado.

The 2010 outbreak involved just four horses in Arizona.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the US Department of Agriculture, reported 62 new positive horse properties and two cattle properties in Colorado in the last week. It reported 11 horse properties and one cattle property in Texas.

All cases reported to date have been the New Jersey serotype.

To date, 186 positive premises have been identified in the two states, with 133 of them in Colorado and 53 in Texas.

There have been eight counties affected in Colorado (Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, Douglas, El Paso, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld counties), and 11 counties affected in Texas (Bastrop, Falls, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Jim Wells, Kinney, Nueces, San Patricio, Travis, Val Verde, and Williamson counties).

Eight properties in Texas (1 in Kinney County, 2 in Nueces County, 2 in San Patricio County, 2 in Hidalgo County, and 1 in Jim Wells County) have been released from quarantine and there are currently 19 others in Texas and 42 in Colorado on a 21-day countdown to quarantine release.

Since the outbreak began in May, 277 horses have been infected – 201 in Colorado and 76 in Texas. A total of 10 cattle have been infected – 7 in Texas and 3 in Colorado.

The latest situation report was released on Wednesday. Last week’s report listed the total number of cases since the outbreak began at 168 – 109 fewer than this week’s tally.

Vesicular stomatitis can cause blisters and sores in the mouth and on the tongue, muzzle, teats or hooves of horses, cattle, swine, sheep, goats, llamas and a number of other animals.

Lesions usually heal in two or three weeks.

Because of the contagious nature of the disease, which has symptoms similar to foot and mouth disease, animal health officials urge livestock owners and caretakers to report these symptoms to their veterinarian immediately.

Most animals recover well with supportive care by a veterinarian, but some lesions can be painful.

It is thought that insects are an important vector in the transmission of the disease.

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Horsetalk.co.nz

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