Livestock illness hitting Midwest has sickened animals in Missouri

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MISSOURI (AP)- 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.

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 Arizona, New Mexico, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Officials say VSV primarily affects horses and cattle, but it can also sicken sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, and alpacas. The disease is typically transmitted by 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, the disease causes an flu-like illness with fever, muscle aches, and headache, officials said.

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

  • Jasper County (New Infected County) – 3 confirmed positive, 1 suspect equine premises
  • Lawrence County (New Infected County) – 1 confirmed positive equine premises
  • Newton County – 1 new confirmed positive, 1 new suspect equine premises

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 (CVI), and an Entry Permit for hooved animals entering the state from affected areas.

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