Kansas becomes 8th state to report livestock disease causing mouth blisters

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GOODLAND, Kan. — A disease that causes blister-like sores on the mouths of horses and other livestock has spread to Kansas, marking the eighth state where it has been detected.

The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced Thursday in a news release that the vesicular stomatitis virus has been confirmed in horses at a private residence in Sherman County, along the state’s western border with Colorado. The animals have been quarantined.

The virus primarily sickens horses, but can also affect cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. Symptoms include excessive salivation, lesions, lack of appetite and lameness. The most common method of transmission is insect bites.

Humans can become infected while handling sick animals and develop flu-like symptoms, but that’s rare. The virus also has been detected in areas of Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

The KDA asks that any person who suspects their animals may have VSV should contact their local veterinarian or state animal health official.

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