AUSTIN — Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) officials have released all premises quarantined for Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV).
Though all premises have been released, and no additional cases have been reported, several states and countries may still impose enhanced entry requirements on VSV susceptible livestock coming from Texas.
Prior to movement of animals, producers are encouraged to contact the state of destination for official entry requirements. For state animal health agency information visit: https://www.usaha.org.
TAHC will discontinue weekly VSV updates unless VSV is confirmed in a new county or once countries and states lift movement restrictions.
To date, 171 premises in 37 Texas counties have been quarantined for VSV. Of the 171 premises quarantined, 171 have been released.
Summary of the Outbreak
The 2019 VSV outbreak began on June 21, 2019, when the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa confirmed the first VSV-positive premises in Kinney County, Texas. All cases of VSV had been found on equine premises until July 30, 2019 when the first case of VSV was confirmed in cattle in Gonzales County. New Mexico, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming broke with VSV cases confirmed by NVSL.
Classification of Cases
Premises that had laboratory diagnostic confirmation of VSV were categorized as confirmed positive premises. Once a county was confirmed as VSV-positive, new premises presenting with clinical signs of VSV in that county were not required to be tested for confirmation of the disease, but the premises were quarantined and classified as a suspect premises.
What Veterinarians Need to Know:
- Several states are imposing enhanced entry requirements on Texas livestock due to the VSV cases. For information, contact the state of destination. For a list of state animal health offices visit https://www.usaha.org/upload/Federal%20and%20State%20Health/STATE_ANIMAL_HEALTH_OFFICIALS%20-%20Copy%201.pdf.
- If you suspect your client’s horse has VSV, contact your TAHC Region Office for paperwork, procedures, and important sample submission information.
What Equine and Cattle Owners Need to Know:
- VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle.
- In the past decade, southwestern and western states have experienced a number of VSV outbreaks.
- Outbreaks usually occur during the warmer months, often along waterways.
- VSV normally has an incubation period of 2-8 days before the infected animal develops blisters that swell and burst, leaving painful sores. The virus can be transmitted through direct contact with infected animals or by blood-feeding insects.
- If VSV is confirmed, infected animals are quarantined for 14 days after clinical signs of lesions are observed. This short-term quarantine helps prevent the movement of animals and the spread of the disease to other premises, fairs or markets.
Strategies for Preventing VSV
Even with the best defensive measures, VSV could infect a herd. However, these tips may help protect livestock:
- Control biting flies
- Keep equine animals stalled or under a roof at night to reduce exposure to flies
- Keep stalls clean
- Don’t visit a ranch that’s under quarantine for VSV. Wait until the animals have healed
TAHC sends out VSV updates every Friday and all cases will be reported to the Equine Disease Communication Center. For VSV history and past TAHC updates click here. To view the USDA 2019 VSV situation reports click here.
–Texas Animal Health Commission
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