Thursday, October 25, 2007

Health Alert For Horse Owners And Local Residents

The Tennessee departments of Agriculture and Health are urging horse owners to be on the alert and review vaccination records for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) and other mosquito-borne diseases including West Nile virus (WNV).

“Outbreaks of viral encephalitis in horses are a seasonal occurrence due to the prevalence of mosquitoes in late summer and early fall,” said Dr. Ron Wilson, state veterinarian with the Agriculture Department. “Horse owners should be aware of symptoms of viral encephalitis and consult their local veterinarian should their horse develop any of the signs associated with this group of diseases.”

Several states have reported cases of EEE in horses this season. Tennessee’s first confirmed case of 2007 was reported this week in Blount County.

Up to 90 percent of horses infected with EEE virus can die.

Another mosquito-borne disease, West Nile virus infection, has been seen in horses across the state, including East Tennessee, in 2007.

Wilson says the spread of WNV has heightened awareness and concern for other nervous system diseases in horses.

Read the complete story in the Upper Cumberland Daily News.

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