The Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced that vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) was confirmed in horses in Butler County on June 16th. Kansas now becomes the fourth state in the U.S. to have confirmed cases of VSV this year. Dr. Justin Smith, Animal Health Commissioner said the state now encourages all livestock owners across Kansas to be aware of the clinical signs of VSV and follow best practices to limit exposure to insects. VSV is a viral disease which primarily affects horses, but can also affect cattle, sheep, goats, swine, llamas and alpacas. Infected animals may refuse to eat and drink, which can lead to weight loss. Humans can also become infected with the disease when handling affected animals, and can develop flu-like symptoms. The primary way the virus is transmitted is from biting insects like black flies, sand flies and midges. VSV can also be spread by nose-to-nose contact between animals. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV. VSV is considered a reportable disease in Kansas. Any person who suspects their animals may have VSV should contact their local veterinarian or state animal health official.