SANDOVAL COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – Sandoval County is ramping up a spraying program to stop a flu-like virus from spreading to even more livestock.
The USDA reports two horses in Corrales were found to be infected in late June with a virus called Vesicular Stomatitis Virus, or VSV. It leads to lesions and a fever in animals that can last weeks. The facility housing the two horses found to have that virus is currently under a state quarantine.
“We don’t want this virus to spread to other horses or livestock,” Sandoval County Commissioner Jay Block said. He adds the county is taking proactive measures by expanding its longtime vector control program.
Contractor Roadrunner Public Health will now start spraying during the day and at night twice a week for insects that may transmit VSV.
“They’re already spraying around Sandoval County and other areas around New Mexico, so this is in addition to what they’ve been doing for 26 years,” Block explained.
Landowners do have the option to post signs stating their property is a “no spray zone” if they want to opt out of the program.
“In our opinion, they’re accepting greater risk, but it’s their choice if they want to opt out and we’ll respect that,” Block said.
Block claims the spray is not harmful because it evaporates in the air before it ever reaches crops or soil.
“I’d say the majority of the people do it. I mean, everybody should look into it, and as long as there are no bad effects, I’d do it,” Corrales farmer, Scott Owen, said.
Spraying to prevent VSV will cost an extra $105,000, coming from the county budget. That nearly doubles the cost of its current contract with Roadrunner Public Health.
In rare cases, people can contract the virus and get severe flu symptoms for about two weeks. The disease is spread through broken skin when having direct contact with an infected animal.
For more information about the program and spray treatment, click here.