Published Date: 2004-05-20 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH> Vesicular stomatitis - USA (TX) (02)
Archive Number: 20040520.1354
VESICULAR STOMATITIS - USA (TEXAS) (02)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 20 May 2004
From: Thomas E Walton <Thomas.e.Walton@usda.gov>
Source: USDA official release [edited]
Emergency management warning 1: positive case of vesicular stomatitis in
horses in Texas
On 18 May 2004, the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) in
Ames, Iowa, confirmed the finding of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in horses
at one premises in the State of Texas.
VSV is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, cattle, and swine.
The virus that causes VSV has a wide host range. VSV also occasionally
affects sheep and goats. In affected livestock, VSV 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
On 10 May 2004, a foreign animal disease investigation was initiated at a
roping facility in Balmorhea, TX, just south of the New Mexico State line,
due to a report of tongue lesions in horses on the premises. There are 6
additional horses and 8 steers on the infected premises that show no signs
of lesions. Serum was taken from all 9 horses on the premises and submitted
to NVSL for testing.
After the 1st round of testing, 3 out of the 9 horses were cELISA positive
for VSV. One of the 3 horses had a CF titer of >1:40 for the New Jersey strain.
The 2nd set of serum samples from the 3 horses were received by NVSL on 18
May 2004. Results from the 2nd set of serum samples were consistent with
the case definition for VSV, which is based on compatible clinical signs
and appropriate laboratory confirmation, which may include virus isolation
or a 4-fold increase in complement fixation (CF) or serum neutralization
titer in paired sera collected at least 7 days apart.
In the remaining 6 horses, initial sero titer results ranged from 1:20 to
1:40 on CF. Preliminary test results on the steers from the infected
premises have come back negative on the cELISA for the NJ strain.
Additional testing is being conducted by NVSL on the steers.
The infected premises has been placed under quarantine. There is no history
of exposure, no recent herd additions, no excursions from the herd with
animals returning to the premises, and no vicinity exposure to other herds
with potential fenceline contact.
The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) is beginning a public information
and education campaign regarding VSV and are in the process of performing
an area surveillance evaluation. Veterinary Services and TAHC will continue
to monitor the situation and conduct response activities in an effort to
minimize trade restrictions.
The need for increased surveillance and reporting should be communicated to
all facilities and personnel of the national animal disease monitoring
network. Early detection remains the key to minimizing the impact of such a
disease introduction. Please forward this information to your federal,
State, and industry counterparts as necessary.
For additional information on VSV please refer to the following APHIS
If you have any questions about this situation, please feel free to call
the Emergency Management Staff at 800-940-6524 or the TAHC at 1-800-550-8242.
Thomas E Walton
Date: 20 May 2004
From: ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source: Fort Worth Star Telegram
First case of vesicular stomatitis since 1998
AUSTIN: Three horses on a farm near Balmorhea in Far West Texas have tested
positive for a rarely fatal viral disease that causes blisters to form in
the animals' mouths and on their hooves, state animal health officials said
Dr Max Coats, deputy director for animal health programs for the Texas
Animal Health Commission, said the cases found in Reeves County are the
first instance of vesicular stomatitis in the United States since 1998. The
1998 cases involved Reeves County and New Mexico.
The viral disease, which causes blisters to form in the animal's mouth and
on teats or hooves, affects horses, cattle, pigs, and occasionally sheep,
goat, and deer.
The symptoms of VS are a cause of concern because they are similar to the
highly contagious foot and mouth disease, which has been eradicated in the
United States since 1929. Vesicular stomatitis is not life-threatening,
Coats said. He said the infection usually runs its course in a couple of
weeks. Humans may develop flu-like symptoms that go away fairly quickly,
Coats said. He added that the biggest threat to the animals is that they
"will avoid eating as long as their mouth is sore. They can show pretty
dramatic weight loss if they are completely fasting."
The disease does not affect food safety, but the affected livestock are
quarantined until they recover. The six other horses and eight head of
cattle living on the farm also have been quarantined since May 10, and will
continue to be tested, Coats said.They will be re-examined by a state or
federal regulatory veterinarian prior to release.