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Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Update-Quaratine Lifted

Monday, March 16, 2015  
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Article Provided By: Department of Agriculture / Friday, March 13, 2015


Vesicular Stomatitis Virus No Longer Detected in State

The state veterinarian released the final quarantine tied to the contagious Vesicular Stomatitis Virus in Santa Cruz County today.  In January two horses were confirmed to have the virus forcing the quarantine of three properties.  The disease causes blister-like sores on the mouths, noses and sometimes feet of infected animals.  .

“The last horse is symptom free of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Perry Durham. “With that we can put this short outbreak behind us.”

At this point, the United State Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service lists no cases of VSV in the country.

Vesicular Stomatitis is a reportable disease around the world.  When there is an outbreak, many states and countries restrict the movement from the state or region where the virus is circulating. Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have Vesicular Stomatitis or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact State or Federal animal health authorities.

 In horses VSV blisters are most likely to affect the mouth, the tongue and around the nose/muzzle. They can be painful causing difficulty in eating and drinking. If cattle are infected, often the hooves and teats are involved leading to severe economic impact in dairy cattle. This also generates worries because the disease appears very similar to Foot and Mouth Disease in cattle.

Livestock with clinical signs of Vesicular Stomatitis are isolated until they are healed and determined to be of no further threat for disease spread. There are no USDA approved vaccines for Vesicular Stomatitis. 

Though very unusual, people can be infected with the virus. In these situations, it is usually among those who handle infected animals (for example while inspecting a horse's mouth and the horse coughs in the person's face thereby delivering a large dose of virus onto the person's eyes and lips). Vesicular Stomatitis Virus can cause flu-like symptoms and only rarely includes lesions or blisters in people.

More information about Vesicular Stomatitis is available online


USDA APHIS Vesicular Stomatitis website:

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