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Posted on: July 1, 2019

Sandoval County Expands Program to Cover Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Finding in Two Horses

Sandoval County has had a vector control program actively in place since 1993. Today, the County is expanding that program to include vector control services for Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV), which was recently found in two horses in Corrales. The expansion of the County’s program will assist to control the spread of this disease that primarily impacts horses and cows.

“As a more rural county with a significant livestock population, it’s vital for Sandoval County to immediately ramp up its Vector Control Program,” said County Commission Vice Chair, Commissioner Jay C. Block, District 2. “The program will include aggressive spraying to control insects that could spread the disease to livestock or possibly humans with weakened immune systems.”

VSV is a viral disease that primarily affects horses and cattle. However, it may occasionally affect swine, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. In rare cases, humans may also become infected. This disease, when rarely found in humans, most significantly impacts those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms in humans resemble severe flu with symptoms lasting about two weeks. In animals, the disease causes lesions and mild fever that typically lasts about two weeks. The disease is spread through broken skin when you have direct contact with an infected animal. In addition, this disease may also be spread through biting insects such as mosquitos, blackflies and midges.

“Sandoval County’s Vector Control Program will include aggressive fogging, twice a week, day and evening in all parts of the County to really target the flying/biting insects,” said Vice Chair Block. “Residents who do not wish to have their area sprayed may opt out, however, to truly control the spread of this disease we encourage residents to allow the spraying. The chemicals are not harmful, and do not actually land on any crops or soil, but instead eliminate the biting insects in the air as they are dispersed using a tap water mixture which quickly evaporates in our dry climate.”

County residents may see the Vector Control Program trucks spraying during the day, which is not a standard practice, as they typically only work at night. This is because we have ramped up the program to be more aggressive, so we can manage and reduce the spread of the identified VSV. The expanded Sandoval County Vector Control Program will last at least until this winter, but will likely continue into next year.

Actions being taken by Sandoval County to control VSV include:

  • Expanding the Sandoval County Vector Control Program to include an additional $105,000 of services from Roadrunner Public Health, Inc. The contract originally included services in the amount of approximately $112,000
  • Aggressive fogging for insects that may transmit VSV; Twice a week, day and evening spraying
  • Larvacide treatments for biting midges that hatch in mud near water sources
  • Working with the New Mexico Livestock Board to share information for any necessary targeted areas that require vector control services
  • Working with horse event, rodeo and County Fair organizers to educate them in order to help control the spread of VSV
  • Working to educate livestock owners and the public about the presence of VSV and the County’s efforts to control it

Residents who own horses, cattle or other livestock should keep an eye on their animals. Should they see any lesions, livestock owners should contact their veterinarian for direction and treatment protocol.

Sandoval County’s program will cover all areas of the county, including the pueblos and tribal entities within the County. Residents, property owners, pueblos and tribal entities may request that their property not be sprayed when they see the fogging trucks. Staff will do their best to accommodate all requests and will respect clearly posted and visible signage stating that areas are “no spray zones.”

For further details on VSV, its clinical signs, transmission, etc., please see the VSV fact sheet from the New Mexico Livestock Board. For details on the two confirmed VSV cases in Corrales, see the USDA Situation Report. For details on the agents being sprayed to control biting insect populations, please see the Safety Data sheets for each of the three control agents which include: DeltaGard, AllPro Aqualuer 20-20 and Aqua Perm-X UL 30-30.

In addition, for more information you may also visit the New Mexico Livestock Board at: https://www.nmlbonline.com/news

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