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West Nile Virus Detected in Middle Tennessee Horse

Wednesday, November 06, 2019 | 03:45pm

NASHVILLE– Despite the cooler temperatures, mosquitoes are still active in Tennessee. The state veterinarian is confirming a case of mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) in a horse in Robertson County.

Mosquitoes transmit WNV. Sick horses cannot directly infect humans or other horses.

Symptoms in horses may include fever, weakness, loss of appetite, or convulsions. The illness can cause lasting effects and, in some cases, can be fatal. The horse in Robertson County did not survive.

“West Nile virus is a devastating, and often deadly, illness for horses,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “However, the vaccine for WNV is highly effective. Appropriate vaccinations will safeguard the health of your horse and prevent a tragic loss.”

Horse owners should work with a veterinarian to determine the best vaccination plan for their livestock, eliminate standing water sources where insects gather and breed, and apply insect repellants as needed. For horses stabled indoors, a breeze from an electric fan makes it difficult for insects to fly.

The C. E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory offers a full line of equine disease testing, including WNV, equine infectious anemia (EIA), equine herpes virus (EHV), equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), and equine influenza virus (EIV). Contact your veterinarian for more information.