SALT LAKE CITY – Several premises in Utah are under quarantine after agriculture officials confirmed the presence of the vesicular stomatitis virus. The Utah Dept. of Agriculture and Food reported the virus has spread to nine counties: Beaver, Carbon, Duchesne, Emery, Grand, Kane, San Juan, Uintah, and Weber.
The Plum Island Animal Disease Center of the US Dept. of Agriculture confirmed the state’s first case in August. Since then, other animals at different locations tested positive for the virus. The virus has infected horses and cattle in seven other states, including Texas, New Mexico, Nebraska, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and South Dakota.
Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that mainly affects horses and cattle. However other livestock, such as sheep, goats and swine, also can be infected. The disease causes lesions in animals’ mouths and udders, but generally is not fatal and rarely affects humans. The disease typically is spread through biting insects and midges, and nose-to-nose contact between infected and non-infected animals.
“While vesicular stomatitis can cause economic losses to livestock producers, it is a particularly significant disease because its outward signs are similar to those of foot-and-mouth disease, a foreign animal disease of cloven-hoofed animals that was eradicated from the United States in 1929,” the UDAF said in a public notice. Additionally, confirmation of the disease may trigger import restrictions by other states.