Harmful virus with potential to spread to humans found in animals in Benton County

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"This disease can spread like wildfire if we don't help control the flies and isolation."

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Four animals in Benton County have caught an extremely contagious virus that has the potential to spread to humans.

It’s called Vesicular Stomatitis or VSV.

It is most common in horses, donkeys, and mules but can also spread to cattle, hogs, and even humans.

VSV causes blisters and open sores around the mouth and then the animals will get malnourished because they won’t want to eat.

A local veterinarian talks about the risk of this spreading.

“This disease can spread like wildfire if we don’t help control the flies and isolation,” Country Vet Owner Dr. Tim O’Neill said.

O’Neill said although the infection rate is extremely high, the death rate is typically very low.

More information on Vesicular Stomatitis can be found on the Arkansas Department of Agriculture website.

The state released information about animal movement restrictions in the state saying livestock movement “may change daily due to emerging disease detection in various counties.”

“No hoofed animal may leave the premise of origin if pastured, housed, or has indirect/direct contact during the previous 30 days to an enclosure or premises currently quarantined for Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV).”

Vesicular Stomatitis restrictions require all Arkansas based Equine (horses, donkeys, mules, etc.) originating from a premises within the County or Adjacent County of any VSV quarantined facility to be:

  1. Examined by a Category II / USDA Accredited veterinarian; and
  2. Be declared free from signs or lesions of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) within 5 days prior to movement within or travel through Arkansas; and
  3. Be accompanied by a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) with the date of veterinarian’s examination recorded. Fill out all blank spaces (add the name of County to the CVI).
  4. Entry Permit number should be obtained for the movement to any other location in Arkansas or out-of-state. Record the Entry Permit number on the CVI.
  5. The following statement is to be added to the CVI and signed by the Attending Veterinarian with that veterinarian’s USDA Accreditation number noted on the CVI (near signature).
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