The Colorado Department of Agriculture has confirmed a new case of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in Boulder County. This is the third location within the state with an infected animal. A quarantine has been established.
Authorities say additional areas located nearby are being investigated.
Just last week, four horses on two Weld County properties were quarantined after testing positive for the disease.
Colorado is the second state in the country to report the highly contagious disease. The first cases seen in 2014 were diagnosed in Texas. To date, a total of 13 VSV-positive premises have been identified between Colorado and Texas. One premises in Texas has been released from quarantine and there are currently 7 other premises in Texas on the 21-day countdown to quarantine release.
There is not a vaccine to control the disease, but “strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of Vesicular Stomatis,” according to State Veterinarian, Dr. Keith Roehr.
Many animals recover after a couple of weeks from the disease, 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, human cases of VS can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. In humans, the disease can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters.
If you are shipping horses from Colorado, some states may have additional health requirements for entry into their state due to the cases of VS in the state.
The state veterinarian reports the first equine case of West Nile Virus was diagnosed in an Adams County horse. The virus is carried by infected birds and then spread locally by mosquitoes that bite the birds. The mosquitoes can then pass the virus to humans and animals.