Kansas becomes 8th state to get livestock virus

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – A new disease that affects farm animals has entered the state. Kansas is now the eighth state in the country to have a case of Vesicular stomatitis virus.

The disease was found in horses on a property near Goodland in western Kansas.

VSV forms legions in an animal’s mouth causing it to refuse to eat or drink. It primarily affects horses but can affect other livestock like cattle and pigs, and even make people feel ill.

“If it gets into dairy cows, beef cows, it’s going to result in weight loss and decreased milk production, that’s probably the biggest economic impact for that,” said Laurie Beard, clinical professor of equine medicine at Kansas State University.

The state Department of Agriculture said it has quarantined the affected area and no animals have left the property for more than three weeks.

But other livestock owners could still see an impact.

“During this period of quarantine, veterinarians need to be aware that when we have animals shipped to other states, those other states may have heightened scrutiny over animals coming from Kansas,” Beard said.

She said Canada won’t allow Kansas livestock into the country for more than a month.

Animal experts said the virus is most commonly transmitted through insects, and with a hard freeze, it is less likely to spread in the state.

VSV is not deadly, but anyone that suspects their animal to have the disease should contact their local veterinarian or state animal health official right away.

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