An outbreak of the livestock virus vesicular stomatitis has begun to level off after authorities quarantined horses and cows in 184 locations, mostly in Boulder, Larimer and Weld counties.
The epidemic appears to have slowed but officials still are encouraging livestock owners to control flies that can spread the virus, State Veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr told BizWest. In Colorado, officials have confirmed the virus in 201 horses and three cows.
“Livestock owners should not grow weary in doing well concerning insect control,” Roehr said. “There is some evidence that fly control practices have been an effective prevention tool in this present VS outbreak.”
Fly control includes applying insect repellent and eliminating environments where flies can hatch.
The virus causes oral blisters and sores in animals. Nearly 90 percent of the quarantined areas were in Weld, Larimer, Boulder and Broomfield counties. Boulder County was the first in the state to report cases.
Human cases of the virus can occur, usually among those who handle infected animals. The virus can cause flu-like symptoms but only rarely includes lesions or blisters.
Veterinarians and livestock owners who suspect an animal may have the virus should immediately contact state or federal animal health authorities. Livestock with clinical signs of the virus are isolated until they are healed.