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USEF Biosecurity Vesicular Stomatitis Alert & Webinar

by US Equestrian Communications Department | May 23, 2023, 5:00 PM

On May 17, 2023, vesicular stomatitis (VS) virus was confirmed on an equine premises in San Diego County, California. Currently, the virus has only been confirmed in San Diego and Riverside Counties, California. 

USEF supports continuing competitions in VS-affected states and competitions which include horses from VS-affected states with the implementation of enhanced biosecurity measures. USEF is working closely with competition management in California and at events with horses traveling in from California to implement strict health protocols and veterinarian examination prior to admission to the horse show grounds.

VS is a viral disease of horses and other animals. Infection results in vesicles (blisters), crusts, and ulceration of the lips, muzzle, nose, tongue, ears, sheath, teats, and/or coronary band. Transmission is predominantly by black flies, sand flies, and biting midges. The virus is in the active lesion, thus animals with active lesions can transmit the virus by direct contact, shared feed/water sources, and other carriers contaminated by infective lesions, vesicular fluid and/or saliva. The lesions are self-limiting and typically resolve within 14 days. Humans can be infected from exposure to this virus and have mild flu-like symptoms.

VS is a reportable disease to a state or federal animal health official in all 50 states. Competitors should be sure to consult with the state veterinarian’s office in the state of the competition for any VS-related movement restrictions and your state of origin for any potential restrictions on return from a VS-affected state. Additionally, international movement restrictions are placed on countries/states with confirmed cases. Therefore, prompt detection, reporting, and control of the virus is important. Equine industry vigilance and prompt response to observations of vesicles is essential.

For more information on the virus, please read the document here and view an AAEP infographic here

Don't miss the upcoming webinar next week:

Wednesday, May 31, 4 p.m. ET

Vesicular Stomatitis: What You Need to Know

Presented by Dr. Katie Flynn, USEF Equine Health and Biosecurity Veterinarian, and Dr. Angela Pelzel McCluskey, USDA Equine Epidemiologist

Dr. Angela Pelzel McCluskey will provide an overview of vesicular stomatitis and the current situation report. Dr. Pelzel McCluskey will provide perspective based on her firsthand experience managing numerous VS outbreaks in her previous roles. Dr. Katie Flynn will cover prevention measures for horses and their premises, as well as the biosecurity requirements being implemented at those USEF events with horses competing from VS-affected states. You won’t want to miss this critical and informative session!

Register Now

Please direct any questions or concerns to USEF Equine Health and Biosecurity Veterinarian Dr. Katie Flynn at [email protected] or 859-225-6991.