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Utah livestock owners cautioned about New Mexico virus

Published June 25, 2012 9:29 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah livestock owners are urged to take precautions against a virus outbreak in New Mexico that could spread to horses, cattle, sheep and even humans across state lines.

Vesicular stomatitis has been found in livestock around New Mexico and can be transmitted to animals through biting insects and to humans through contact with infected animals, according to a Utah Department of Agriculture and Food news release.

Symptoms in humans may include fever, muscle aches, headaches and cysts on the mouth, lips or hands. Most people recover within four to seven days and can prevent infection by wearing protective clothing and gloves, the release said.

Infected animals will exhibit severe lesions around the mouth along with excessive drooling and ulcers inside the mouth. Animals are more susceptible in crowded pastures and at livestock events including animals from New Mexico, according to the release.

Organizers of events that feature New Mexico livestock also are required to obtain a health certificate to signify none of the animals are infected, the release said. They must have the certificate within 48 hours of any animals entering the show.