Additional cases of vesicular stomatitis (VS) have been identified in three Texas horses. Both sites’ horses tested positive for the New Jersey serotype.
The Texas Animal Health Commission reports the cases were confirmed in San Patricio County in South Texas on June 17. One case involves two horses about 7.5 miles southeast of Mathis. Another was about 7 miles southeast of Mathis, according to officials. The premises are under quarantine.
Earlier this month, two horses in Hidalgo County were confirmed as having the disease. Another case was identified on June 9 in a horse in the same county, located three miles northwest of Edinburg.
Officials say the cases are unrelated. Both properties are under quarantine for at least 21 days.
The cases are unrelated to the five horses reported last month, according to health officials. The initial cases, in Kinney County, were confirmed on May 28.
Most animals recover after a couple of weeks from VS, but if the vesicles become infected, officials say the recovery process, which includes treatment of the horse’s symptoms, may take longer. Symptoms include blisters and sores in the mouth, tongue, muzzle, teats, sheath, or hooves. Other animals, including cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and llamas, can also be infected.
Owners are urged to report symptoms to their vets immediately since VS is highly contagious and resembles other diseases such as foot and mouth disease.
While rare, humans can also be infected with the disease when handling affected animals. Symptoms are flu-like, with fever, muscle aches, and headaches.
Insects are suspected as an important vector in the transmission of the disease.
Several states including Florida, Kentucky, Illinois, North Carolina, and Oklahoma have enhanced the entry requirements for Texas livestock, including horses, due to the cases of VS.