Articles: Press Release
Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) Confirmed in New Mexico
U.S. Department of Agriculture
On June 4, 2004, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in
Ames, IA, confirmed the finding of vesicular stomatitis (VS) in horses at
one premises in New Mexico.
VS is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, cattle, and swine.
The virus that causes VS has a wide host range. VS also occasionally
affects sheep and goats. In affected livestock, VS virus causes
blisterlike lesions to form in the mouth and on the dental pad, tongue,
lips, nostrils, hooves, and teats. These blisters swell and break, leaving
raw tissue that is so painful that infected animals generally refuse to eat
and drink and show signs of lameness. Severe weight loss usually follows,
and in dairy cows, a severe drop in milk production commonly occurs.
Affected dairy cattle can appear to be normal and will continue to eat
about half of their feed intake.
On May 26, 2004, a foreign animal disease investigation was initiated at a
farm Carlsbad, NM due to a report of tongue lesions in 2 horses on the
premises. There are 2 additional horses, 2 steers and some sheep and goats
on the infected premises that show no signs of lesions. Serum was taken
from all horses on the premises and submitted to NVSL for testing.
After the first round of testing, one horse was CF positive and 3 horses
were cELISA positive for antibodies to the New Jersey strain of VS virus.
The second set of serum samples from the horses were received by NVSL on
June 3, 2004. Results from the second set of serum samples were
consistent with the case definition for VS which is based on compatible
clinical signs and appropriate laboratory confirmation which may include
virus isolation or a four-fold increase in complement fixation (CF) or
serum neutralization titer in paired sera collected at least 7 days apart.
The infected premises has been placed under quarantine. There is no
history of exposure and no recent herd additions.
Veterinary Services and New Mexico Department of Agriculture will continue
to monitor the situation and conduct response activities in an effort to
minimize trade restrictions.