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New Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) Cases Now in Utah

Update as of 7:41 am, August 27

  • 1 identified and now quarantined in Emery County
  • 5 confirmed and quarantined in Uintah County
  • 3 premises quarantined and being investigated in Uintah County
  • 2 premises quarantined and being investigated in Grand County



(Salt Lake City) – The Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), Indiana type, has been diagnosed on several premises in two counties in Utah, Uintah County and Emery County. These premises have been placed in quarantine. The quarantine period has been established as 14 days from the last animal to show clinical signs on these premises. Four more premises are currently under investigation and those samples that were submitted for testing should yield results before the end of the week.

Vesicular stomatitis is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas, and alpacas. Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, but this is a rare event. In affected livestock, the incubation period for vesicular stomatitis ranges from two to eight days. Often, excessive salivation is the first sign of the disease. Close examination of the mouth initially reveals blanched and raised vesicles or blister-like lesions on the inner surfaces of the lips, gums, tongue, and/or dental pad. In addition, these blister-like lesions can form on the lips, nostrils, coronary band, prepuce, vulva, and teats. The blisters swell and break, which causes oral pain and discomfort and reluctance to eat or drink. Lameness and severe weight loss may follow.

Since Utah has now been confirmed as a vesicular stomatitis state, it is essential that veterinarians and livestock owners be on the alert for animals displaying clinical signs of the disease. Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have vesicular stomatitis or any other vesicular disease should immediately contact the State Veterinarian at 801-538-7162 or USDA APHIS Veterinary Services at 801-524-5010. Diagnosis of the disease cannot be made based on clinical signs but requires testing of samples at an approved facility.

How vesicular stomatitis spreads is not fully known; insect vectors, mechanical transmission, and movement of animals are all factors. Once the disease is introduced into a herd, it may move from animal to animal by contact or exposure to saliva or fluid from ruptured vesicles. Humans rarely contract vesicular stomatitis, but they can become infected.

There is no specific treatment or cure for vesicular stomatitis. Good sanitation and quarantine practices on affected farms usually contain the infection. When a definite diagnosis is made on a farm, the following procedures are recommended:

  • Separate animals with lesions from healthy animals, preferably by stabling. Animals on pastures tend to be affected more frequently with this disease.
  • As a precautionary measure, do not move animals from premises affected by vesicular stomatitis until at least 14 days after lesions in the last affected animal have healed.
  • Implement on-farm insect control programs that include the elimination or reduction of insect breeding areas and the use of insecticide sprays or insecticide-treated ear tags on animals.
  • Use personal protective measures when handling affected animals to avoid human exposure to this disease.