BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A highly contagious livestock disease that has spread from southern states as far north as South Dakota has officials concerned in North Dakota, where the illness hasn't been diagnosed for nearly eight decades.
Horses and cattle infected with vesicular stomatitis have been found this year in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Wyoming, Arizona and South Dakota. Cases in South Dakota have grown from two late last month to 13 either confirmed or suspected, mostly in the Black Hills region, State Veterinarian Dustin Oedekoven said.
Vesicular stomatitis infects mainly horses and cattle, though other animals including swine, sheep, goats and llamas also are susceptible. It's rarely fatal but can cause economic hardship for people who own performance animals such as rodeo stock and for cattle ranchers.
Many of the states with confirmed cases are points of travel for rodeo performers in North Dakota. There also is cattle movement among North Dakota and many of the states.