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West Nile virus detected in Tennessee horse

Christian Fernsby |
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.

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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.

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