Missouri State Veterinarian tells livestock owners to beware VSV

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SOUTHWEST MISSOURI — Livestock owners are being advised to look out for signs of a disease that has affected horses, cattle, and other animals in several Midwest states, including Southwest Missouri.

Missouri State Veterinarian Dr. Steve Strubberg announced the state’s first case of vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, in a horse in Newton County on July 14.

Missouri was the seventh state to have confirmed the virus this year.

It has sickened livestock across the country in multiple states including Kansas and Oklahoma.

Officials say VSV primarily affects horses and cattle, but it can also affect sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, and alpacas.

The disease is typically transmitted through biting insects and causes blister-like lesions on the skin.

Humans can contract VSV by coming into contact with lesions, saliva, or nasal secretions from infected animals.

In humans, experts say the disease causes a flu-like illness with fever, muscle aches, and headache.

The United States Department of Agriculture reported on July 20 that there had been 5 confirmed cases of VSV in Missouri.

Jasper County has 3 confirmed positive, and one 1 “suspect.”

Lawrence County has one confirmed positive case.

Newton County – has one new confirmed positive, one new “suspect.”

Livestock owners should contact a veterinarian if they spot lesions on their animals.

As a preventative measure, Missouri has required a veterinary examination, certificate of veterinary inspection, and an entry permit for hooved animals entering the state from affected areas.

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