Johnson City Press: 3 local horses test positive for West Nile

3 local horses test positive for West Nile

Johnson City Press • Oct 31, 2018 at 5:27 PM

On Wednesday, the Tennessee state veterinarian announced five new confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus in horses, including two in Washington County and one in Sullivan County.

“Even though it is starting to feel like fall, mosquito-borne illnesses remain a health threat for horses in Tennessee,” State Veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatcher said in an emailed press release. “Horse owners should take preventative measures to protect their livestock year-round. The vaccine for WNV is extremely effective. Your veterinarian can help you decide the best vaccination plan for your horse.”

Sick horses cannot directly infect people with the virus. Mosquitoes and other biting insects transmit the virus that causes fever, weakness, loss of appetite, convulsions and death in horses.

The other two new reported cases were in Bradley and Cumberland counties.

To avoid transmission, Hatcher said to:

— Refrain from sharing needles, dental or surgical equipment among different animals,

— Eliminate standing water sources where insects may gather and breed,

— Manage manure and disposal, and

— Apply fly sprays and insect repellants as needed.

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