Tennessee vet warns of livestock illness hitting Midwest

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Black horses looking and observing in pasture setting in daylight.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s state veterinarian is advising livestock owners to look out for signs of a disease that has affected horses, cattle and other animals in Midwest states.

State Veterinarian Samantha Beaty says vesicular stomatitis virus, or VSV, has not yet entered Tennessee, but it has sickened livestock in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

Officials say VSV primarily affects horses and cattle, but it can also sicken sheep, goats, pigs, llamas, and alpacas. The disease is typically transmitted by biting insects and causes blister-like lesions on the skin.

Humans can contract VSV and get a flu-like illness by coming into contact with lesions from infected animals. 

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