Vesicular stomatitis cases confirmed in six Colorado counties


Special to The SUN
The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) has confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in Adams, Boulder, Broomfield, La Plata, Larimer, and Weld counties in Colorado. At this time, all confirmed cases in Colorado have been in horses.
The total count of premises under quarantine, as of July 18, by county in 2019 for VSV is outlined below. CDA’s Animal Health division is updating this table regularly with the latest data on its CDA VSV website.
County Current quarantines
Adams 1
Boulder 11
Broomfield 1
La Plata 5
Larimer 18
Weld 14
Total 50
Weld County has two released quarantines as of July 18 for 2019.
The first case of VSV in Colorado was reported on July 3 in Weld County by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian’s Office at the CDA. An incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle, and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. The transmission process of VSV is not completely understood, but includes insect vectors such as black flies, sand flies and biting midges.
The incubation period ranges from two to eight 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.
Tips for livestock owners
Strict fly control is an important factor to inhibit the transmission of the disease.
Avoid transferring feeding equipment, cleaning tools or health care equipment from other herds.
Colorado veterinarians and livestock owners should contact the state of destination when moving livestock interstate to ensure that all import requirements are met.
Colorado fairs, livestock exhibitions and rodeos may institute new entry requirements based on the extent and severity of the current VS outbreak. Certificates of veterinary inspection (CVIs or health certificates) issued within two to five days prior to an event can be beneficial in reducing risks. Be sure to stay informed of any new livestock event requirements.
Important points for
Any vesicular disease of livestock is reportable to the State Veterinarian’s Office in Colorado. To report, call (303) 869-9130.