Colorado’s agricultural community is dealing with a vesicular stomatitis outbreak, which is now impacting the state fair in Pueblo.
Fair entries were down for horse events by about 20% at this year’s fair and a cattle show was missing roughly 80% of its usual, fair general manager Chris Wiseman says.
“These were people who chose not to come and there are people who where they live were in quarantine,” Wiseman said in an article in The Denver Post. He also said that the outbreak if affecting the profitability of the events.
Colorado’s department of agriculture had 205 locations under quarantine, as of Wednesday, where both horses and cows. Seventeen quarantines had been released.
“The good news is that we have been able to release a number of quarantines and we expect that number to increase over the coming days and weeks,” Dr. Keith Roehr, state veterinarian, said to the The Denver Post. “There is evidence that fly control as a prevention practice has been effective in disease prevention.”
The virus is thought to spread through animals through gnats and black flies. It can cause blisters on the mouth, tongue and hooves. The virus can inhibit milk production in dairy cows.
Humans rarely contract the disease.
Wiseman said that the no-shows at the fair are understandable, considering the situation.
As of Thursday, 313 horses and seven cows had the virus, according to The Denver Post.
First reported July 14 in Boulder County, the outbreak is said to be the worst in roughly a decade. The virus has mostly been contained to northern Colorado, but quarantines have been issued statewide.
The Colorado State Fair runs from Aug. 22 to Sept. 1.