Epizootic Vesicular Stomatitis in Colorado, 1982: Epidemiologic Studies along the Northern Colorado front Range

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  • * Division of Vector-Borne Viral Diseases, Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, P.O. Box 2087, Fort Collins, Colorado 80522-2087
  • | ** Department of Microbiology and Environmental Health, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
  • | Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory, Agriculture Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 3965, University Station, Laramie, Wyoming 82071

Epidemiologic evaluations were made of farm personnel on vesicular stomatitis-affected premises along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado during the 1982 epizootic. A similar antibody prevalence was noted to that of veterinarians and research and regulatory personnel who were involved with the same epizootic. Risk of infection resulted from intimate physical contact with infected horses or cows. Incidence and infection rates in horses were 45%; rates in cows were much lower, only 5%. Some epidemiologic clues were gained by a detailed study of an equine ranch. The pasture was incriminated as the area of highest risk, where 100% infection rates were noted. Horses in open pens and barns were at lower risk. Severe clinical disease in horses resulted in higher neutralizing antibody titers than inapparent or mild infection. Maternal antibody was detected in foals up to 4 months of age, and the level of antibody in the foal was a reflection of the dam's antibody level.