Anthrax And Vesicular Stomatitis Found In Colorado Livestock

Just a little more than a week into August, the Colorado Department of Agriculture has been kept busy with an investigation of anthrax deaths and a potential outbreak of Vesicular Stomatitis. Here are the details.

* The Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday, Aug. 8, that it is currently investigating an anthrax case in Logan County involving about 50 dead cattle.

* One deceased cow has been confirmed to have had the disease, and one location has tested positive.

* Anthrax develops naturally in soil, the Department explained. Spores become active during times of climatic or ecologic change, such as heavy rainfall, flooding or drought.

* Spores can revert to vegetative form and multiply to infectious levels. Grazing animals may become infected, and often animals afflicted with Anthrax are found dead without any illness detected.

* Anthrax is contagious to all mammals, including humans. Animals who are most susceptible are cattle, sheep, horses and goats, the Department of Agriculture reported. The illness is transmitted through direct contact with bacteria or by ingesting or breathing the spores.

* If caught in the early stages, the Department reported, Anthrax can be treated with antibiotics. In addition, there is a vaccine for humans and livestock.

* On Aug. 2, the Department of Agriculture announced the first 2012 case of Vesicular Stomatitis. A Las Animas County premises was placed under quarantine after a horse there tested positive for the disease.

* This is the first diagnosis of VS in Colorado since 2006, the Department of Agriculture reported.

* Because Vesicular Stomatitis is considered a foreign animal disease, any case with clinical signs consistent with VS requires an investigation by a state or federal foreign animal disease diagnostician.

* The disease is suspected to be caused by biting flies.

* Vesicular Stomatitis infects livestock and causes erosions and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and hooves. While seldom deadly, the disease can cause weight loss due to pain from oral lesions and lameness if the animal's hooves are involved.

* Rarely, VS can infect humans -- generally those who handle infected animals. VS in humans can cause flu-like symptoms, but generally does not involve lesions or blisters.

* The Department of Agriculture's State Veterinarian's Office has issued a travel requirement for horses, mules, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, swine and camelids. The requirement states that each animal must be examined by a veterinarian. A certificate of this inspection must state that the animal bears no signs of the disease and did not originate from a premises under quarantine from Vesicular Stomatitis.

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Description : * The Department of Agriculture announced on Wednesday, Aug. 8, that it is currently investigating an anthrax case in Logan County involving about 50 dead cattle.
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