Highly contagious cattle and horse virus reported near Amarillo region

Experts warn of signs to look for as virus could affect dairies
Updated: Jul. 19, 2019 at 9:59 AM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - A highly contagious virus affecting cattle and horses has put area producers on alert.

Vesicular Stomatitis, or VSV, has been found in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.

According to the Texas Animal Health Commission, the closest case of VSV has been reported in the Abilene area, one county away from the Amarillo reporting region.

VSV is of concern due to the similarities with foot-and-mouth disease which can be transferred by the biting midge, sandflies or the black fly.

There is no vaccine available for VSV.

“Biting midges are common throughout the country,” said West Texas A&M University Vero Director Dr. Paul Morley. “Small biting flies you will see in particular.”

The virus will run its course in about five to seven days.

Common symptoms to look for are blisters around mouth, nose and the coronary band. For females, symptoms could be found around the udders.

Other signs include slobbering, runny nose, and causing herds to not eat or drink.

Dr. Morley warns, if the virus were to get into feedlots or dairies, it could spread quickly and cause significant economic losses.

To see the latest reports of VSV in the state, visit the Texas Animal Health Commission website, here.

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