Colorado’s vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) outbreak may have passed its peak, but according to Dr. Keith Roehr, the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s State Veterinarian, 60 locations remain under quarantine.

However, the number of quarantines continues to drop. Two-hundred and seventy-four of the 334 quarantines have now been released.

The Community Radio for Northern Colorado recently looked at the impact the disease has made on the state’s livestock industry.

Some states have placed new restrictions on Colorado livestock from entering without a clean bill of health in an effort to contain the outbreak. These restrictions are time-consuming and could hurt both the state’s economy and reputation.

"We had a dairy that was near Fort Morgan that wanted to ship 400 dairy cows to California," said Dr. Roehr. "And in order for California to take them we had to show that there were no quarantine premises within a 10 mile radius of the dairy. Initially when that request to move was made there were half a dozen facilities that were under quarantine, so it took about three weeks of time before those facilities were released from quarantine then those cows could be inspected and when they were found of being clear of clinical signs they were moved to California."

For now, the impact to trade from the outbreak has been minimal. Read, “As Vesicular Stomatitis Spreads, What's The Impact On Colorado's Livestock Industry?”

Bovine Veterinarian Editor John Maday points in an article here VSV is classified as a rhabdovirus, and there are two serotypes of VSV – New Jersey and Indiana.

“Outbreaks this year have involved the New Jersey serotype. Infection with one serotype is not cross-protective for the second serotype,” Maday writes. “Clinical signs of VS, which can affect equines, cattle, bison, sheep, goats, pigs and camelids include vesicles, erosions, and sloughing of the skin on the muzzle, tongue, teats and above the hooves.”

Insect vectors are the primary source of transmission of VSV, although mechanical transmission occurs in some species. Fly control is a key component in preventing spread of the virus, and because of that, Roehr warns livestock owners to keep their guard up as unseasonable weather conditions linger.

“As warm fall temperatures persist, some fly populations are still proving capable spreading this disease. Therefore, livestock owners must still work to prevent flies on their property,” said Roehr in a Facebook update here.

Roehr hopes the state will be able to lift all remaining quarantines by early- to mid-December, explaining that "winter can't come soon enough."