Colorado Horses Are Catching A Virus Spread By Insect Bites

Colorado Horses
Brennan Linsley/Associated Press
Polo horses stand in a field as a wet late winter dusting of snow and rain falls over Longmont, Colo., Friday, March 7, 2014.

A virus that primarily affects horses and cows has been found in 14 Colorado counties.

The Denver Post reports that the state agricultural department says 287 animals have been quarantined for vesicular stomatitis.

The virus spreads through black flies, sand flies and biting midges and ultimately can induce animals to refuse to eat or drink.

It can also affect cattle, sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. It rarely affects humans.

Larimer County has the most cases with 93. Other affected counties include Adams, Boulder, Jefferson and Weld. One bovine case has been confirmed in Boulder County.

Editor's Note: In stories on Aug. 3 and July 31 about a viral disease affecting livestock, The Associated Press reported erroneously described the disease as rabies-like. The virus spreads through flying insect bites but is not related to rabies.