Cases of Potomac Horse Fever confirmed in Hawkins, Sullivan counties


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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee’s state veterinarian is encouraging horse owners to get their horses vaccinated for Potomac Horse Fever after four cases were confirmed across the state, including in Northeast Tennessee.

The Department of Agriculture says cases have been confirmed in four horses in Hawkins, Robertson, Sullivan, and Wilson counties. The horse in Wilson County had to be euthanized.

“Transmission of this disease can be prevented,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said in a release. “Potomac Horse Fever is preventable with regular vaccinations and environmental management. In addition to having your horses on a routine medical schedule, make sure they have clean drinking water. One way to do this is change from natural drinking water sources to frequently-cleaned water buckets.”

Potomac Horse Fever is caused by bacteria thought to be carried by aquatic snail larvae and other hosts, including flies. Horses living near bodies of water or low-lying areas where water accumulates are at risk.

Horse owners are encouraged to look for signs of the disease, including anorexia, diarrhea, colic, fever, and laminitis.

The disease is not a threat to humans and is not contagious between horses.

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