West Nile Virus Found In Robertson County Horse

West Nile Virus Found In Robertson County Horse

West Nile Virus Found In Robertson County Horse

ROBERTSON COUNTY TENNESSEE: (Smokey Barn News) –  Despite the cooler temperatures, mosquitoes are still active in Tennessee, according to the Department of Agriculture.

The state veterinarian is confirming a case of mosquito-borne West Nile virus (WNV) in a horse in Robertson County.

The illness can cause lasting effects and, in some cases, can be fatal. The horse in Robertson County did not survive.

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

Symptoms in horses may include fever, weakness, loss of appetite, or convulsions.

“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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.

It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which starts in the summer and continues through fall.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick.

About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

“It’s always sad when someone loses one of their animal companions. With the confirmation of West Nile Virus in Robertson County, we encourage folks to contact their Vet about the best plan for their livestock. The WNV vaccination is very effective and may prevent another tragic loss.” Senator Kerry Roberts

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