New Mexico warns of blister-causing livestock virus

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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — New Mexico officials are warning horse owners to take precautions to keep their animals from contracting a virus that causes blister-like sores on the mouths of infected animals.

The state livestock board says vesicular stomatitis cases have been confirmed in Valencia, Sandoval, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties.

State Veterinarian Ralph Zimmerman says officials aren't ordering the cancellation of any events at this point, but they're circulating a list of recommendations for fair and rodeo organizers and individual owners.

That includes checking for sores, using fly spray and not sharing grooming equipment.

The virus primarily affects horses and cattle, and occasionally swine, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. In rare events, humans can also become infected when exposed.

There's no specific treatment and there are no licensed vaccines for the virus.

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