New Mexico Announces Detection Of Vesicular Stomatitis

As of May 18, two horses in New Mexico have been diagnosed with vesticular stomatitis (VS). The virus (Indiana type) was isolated from one horse on a premises in Otero County, New Mexico. Another horse on the same premises was serologically positive. Both horses were showing clinical signs of VS. The Office of International Epizootics has been notified.

The state of New Mexico has issued a quarantine on the affected stable and farm. APHIS officials diagnosed the disease and are working with state and local animal health authorities to investigate the source of the isolated cases. APHIS is a part of USDA's marketing and regulatory programs mission area.

This current VS outbreak will be handled differently than last year's outbreak. This year, Area Veterinarians in Charge (AVIC's) and State Veterinarians from states that have positive VS cases will manage the outbreak. Foreign Animal Disease Diagnosticians will report vesicular investigation data to the Area office. The AVIC and State Veterinarian will manage the status of the investigation and send data daily to a disease reporting officer that will oversee the quality of the database. Public reports will be disseminated from the Western Regional Office and Emergency Programs Staff.

"We want to cover all the bases to ensure that this disease doesn't spread," said Steven England, New Mexico's State Veterinarian. "The quarantine may be lifted 30 days after the last infected animal's lesions have healed."

Vesicular stomatitis is a sporadic, reemerging viral disease characterized by blister-like lesions in the mouth and on the lips, nostrils, teats, and coronary bands. How the disease spreads is not fully known; insect vectors and movement of animals may be responsible.

For more information about the cases and state quarantine, call John Wortman, director of the New Mexico Livestock Board, at 505/841-4000.

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