• Last modified 416 days ago (Aug. 6, 2020)


Horse virus continues to spread

Marion County animals being released from quarantine

Staff writer

A virus that primarily affects horses, first confirmed in Marion County in early July, has since spread to 97 premises in 24 counties.

Vesicular stomatitis virus was first confirmed June 16 in Butler County and appeared two weeks later at two locations in Marion County.

Property where the virus is found is quarantined until 14 days after the last animal develops symptoms.

Jason Walker, spokesman for Kansas Department of Agriculture, said a horse property in Marion County has been released from quarantine and a cattle property is expected to be released later this week.

Besides horses, the virus can spread to cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas.

At this time the Kansas Department of Agriculture has 51 premises in quarantine and is awaiting test results from animals in other counties.

Cases also have been found in Chase and Morris counties, the agency said.

KDA said the vast majority of confirmed cases in Kansas have been horses, although some cattle have also been diagnosed.

The agency has advised the beef industry to be vigilant in monitoring cattle.

The virus is spread by biting insects such as black flies, sand flies and midges.

It also spreads by nose-to-nose contact between animals.

It causes lesions that appear as crusting scabs on the muzzle, lips, ears, tissue connecting the hoof to the leg, or ventral abdomen.

It also causes fever and blister-like lesions in the mouth, dental pad, tongue, lips, nostrils, ears, hooves and teats.

Animals may refuse to eat and drink.

Rarely, humans who handle the animals can develop flu-like symptoms.

Animal owners are being encouraged to use insect control to help prevent the virus on their farms.

Last modified Aug. 6, 2020