Published Date: 2005-08-09 23:50:00
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Vesicular stomatitis, equine - USA (CO)
Archive Number: 20050809.2327
VESICULAR STOMATITIS, EQUINE - USA (COLORADO)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Sponsored in part by Elsevier, publisher of
Infectious Disease products
Date: 9 Aug 2005
From: A-Lan.Banks <A-Lan.Banks@thomson.com>
Source: Craig Daily Press, Colorado, USA [edited]
A horse in Moffat County was diagnosed Monday with the county's 1st
case of vesicular stomatitis (VS), a highly contagious disease.
Craig veterinarian Wayne Davis confirmed the case in a middle-aged
female horse. This is the 23rd case of the disease in Colorado this
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral illness similar to foot and mouth
disease. It gives horses, cattle, pigs and sheep sores and lesions on
the mouth, hooves, nipples and teats. The lesions can become so sore
animals won't eat and rapidly lose weight.
The disease can spread to humans, but according to the Colorado
Department of Agriculture, human cases are very rare.
Statewide, there are 22 ranches under quarantine for the disease. If
one animal is found on a ranch with the disease, the entire ranch is
quarantined until 3 weeks after the disease heals on every animal.
The disease, which is rarely fatal, is spread by flies and direct
contact with infected animals.
This is the 1st case of vesicular stomatitis Davis has ever dealt
with. He said the horse came in with lesions that looked similar to
foot and mouth disease. Davis sent lab results to the U.S. Department
of Agriculture, which confirmed the disease.
Davis said the infected horse will get over the disease "fairly soon."
The disease heals naturally over time, Davis said, but he gave the
horse antibiotics to ward off any secondary infections. Linh Truong,
a spokeswoman with the Colorado Department of Agriculture, said
vesicular stomatitis is a concern because it closely resembles foot
and mouth disease and because it causes rapid weight loss.
"We keep track of it closely," Truong said.
Truong said Moffat County did not have any confirmed cases of the
disease in 2004, but wasn't sure about before that.
Horses can be vaccinated for the disease [Not true: see comment below
- Mod.LM], but Truong said the vaccinations are not a 100-percent
guarantee. In areas where a lot of horses have the disease, Truong
recommends getting a booster shot, but she said Moffat County isn't
one of those places. The vaccination and booster shot are available
at most veterinarians, Truong said.
Utah has 46 premises under quarantine, 30 of them right across the
border in Uintah County.
A horse show had to be moved from Vernal, Utah to Craig in July 2005
because of fears of vesicular stomatitis.
Beau Benson, a veterinarian in Vernal, said the disease is starting
to taper off, but it hasn't gone away. Benson has dealt with about a
dozen cases of vesicular stomatitis in horses and 2 human cases.
In the human case, Benson said a mother and daughter got the disease
when a horse sneezed in their face. The mother and daughter are doing
fine, Benson said.
Shawn Polly of Craig said the disease isn't something he worries too
"It's like a person catching a cold," Polly said Monday as he loaded
his horse into his trailer at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. Polly
had both of his horses vaccinated and said he doesn't plan on getting
them a booster shot.
[This article is in error in indicating there is a vaccine for VS. In
a conversation with Linh Truong of the Colorado Department of
Agriculture, she clarified that there is a horse vaccine for West
Nile virus but not for VS. Ms. Truong stated that she would call the
Craig Daily Press and ask for a correction to be printed.
It is additionally confusing that Mr Polly believes West Nile virus
or VS to be so mild. Horses suffering from Vesicular stomatitis are
unmistakably ill and may lose weight because it is painful for them
to eat or drink. Additionally they may be lame.
Horses with West Nile virus are generally very ill and may die. The
WNV vaccine is often recommended as a 2-dose vaccine, with 3 to 6
weeks between the doses. There are cases of horses having milder
disease and not dying from WNV.
So the article seems to have confused 2 different equine diseases.
However, Colorado does have Vesicular stomatitis in Montrose County
in cattle and in Delta County in Horses. Both cases were confirmed in
There is also WNV in Colorado. - Mod.TG]