TDH: West Nile Virus detected in horses in Washington, Sullivan counties

State officials have announced five new cases of horses sickened by West Nile Virus in East Tennessee.  

Tennessee Department of Health says that two horses in Washington County have recently tested positive for West Nile. Bradley, Cumberland and Sullivan Counties are also reporting one case in each county.  

TDH says sick horses cannot directly infect people with the virus.  

Mosquitoes and other biting insects are responsible for passing the virus. Symptoms in horses include fever, weakness, loss of appetite or convulsions. The illness can cause lasting effects, and in some cases, can be fatal.  

State veterinarian Dr. Charles Hatches says horse owners should take preventative measures to protect their livestock year-round. The vaccine for virus is extremely effective.  

Other tips include:  

  • Never share needles, dental or surgical equipment among different animals.  

  • Eliminate standing water sources where insects may gather and breed.  

  • Manage manure and disposal  

  • Apply fly sprays and insect repellents as needed. 

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