County fights livestock disease

Sandoval County vector-control trucks like this one will be spraying to control biting insects that could spread vesicular stomatitis virus.

 

Sandoval County report

BERNALILLO — Sandoval County has expanded its 26-year-old vector-control program to include services for vesicular stomatitis virus, which was recently found in two horses in Corrales.

VSV primarily affects horses and cattle. It may occasionally affect pigs, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas.

In rare cases, humans may also become infected. It most significantly impacts those with weakened immune systems.

“As a more rural county with a significant livestock population, it’s vital for Sandoval County to immediately ramp up its vector control program,” said county commission Vice Chairman Jay Block. “The program will include aggressive spraying to control insects that could spread the disease to livestock or possibly humans with weakened immune systems.”

Symptoms in humans resemble a severe flu and last about two weeks. In animals, the disease causes lesions and mild fever that typically lasts about two weeks.

The disease is spread through broken skin during direct contact with an infected animal. It may also be spread through biting insects such as mosquitoes, blackflies and midges.

“Sandoval County’s Vector Control Program will include aggressive fogging twice a week, day and evening, in all parts of the county to really target the flying/biting insects,” Block said. “Residents who do not wish to have their area sprayed may opt out; however, to truly control the spread of this disease, we encourage residents to allow the spraying.

“The chemicals are not harmful, and do not actually land on any crops or soil, but instead eliminate the biting insects in the air as they are dispersed, using a tap-water mixture which quickly evaporates in our dry climate.”

Residents may see vector-control trucks spraying during the day, although they typically work at night.

The expanded Sandoval County Vector Control Program will last at least until this winter, but will likely continue into next year. Actions being taken by Sandoval County to control VSV include:

• Expanding the vector control program to include an additional $105,000 of services from Roadrunner Public Health Inc. The contract originally included services in the amount of approximately $112,000.

• Larvacide treatments for biting midges that hatch in mud near water sources.

• Working with the New Mexico Livestock Board to share information for any necessary targeted areas that require vector-control services.

• Working with horse-event, rodeo and county fair organizers to educate them in order to help control the spread of VSV.

Residents who own horses, cattle or other livestock should keep an eye on their animals. Should they see any lesions, owners should contact their veterinarian.

The vector-control program will cover all areas of the county, including pueblos and tribal entities.

Residents, property owners, pueblos and tribal entities may request that their property not be sprayed when they see the fogging trucks. Staff will do their best to accommodate all requests and will respect clearly posted and visible signs stating that areas are “no spray zones.”

For more details on VSV or the cases in Corrales, see the New Mexico Livestock Board website at nmlbonline.com/news. For details on the agents being sprayed to control biting insects, see the Safety Data sheets for the three control agents: DeltaGard, AllPro Aqualuer 20-20 and Aqua Perm-X UL 30-30.

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