STATE VETERINARIAN ALERTS HORSE OWNERS TO CASES OF POTOMAC HORSE FEVER IN TENNESEE

A big risk factor for Potomac horse fever is proximity to a natural water source or river.

NASHVILLE – The State Veterinarian is advising horse owners to be alert after another confirmed case of Potomac Horse Fever (PHF) in Tennessee. This week’s detection in a horse in Wayne County is in addition to two cases earlier this month in DeKalb and Rutherford Counties.

“We are seeing an uptick in PHF cases in Tennessee compared to previous years,” State Veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty said. “This disease typically coincides with hot weather, which is why it’s common in the summer and early fall. Vaccination and minimizing risk can help horse owners protect their animals.”

Aquatic snail larvae and other intermediate hosts including flies are the source of the Neorickettsia risticii bacteria that causes PHF. Horses may be exposed when drinking from creeks, rivers, or ponds and can then suffer from anorexia, diarrhea, colic, fever, and laminitis. If your horse presents symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. If left untreated, PHF can be fatal.

There is a vaccine for PHF. Although it may not fully prevent infection in all cases, it does provide protection and minimizes the severity of disease if a horse is infected. Horse owners should consult their veterinarian to establish a vaccination schedule.

Potomac horse fever has not been found to directly transmit from horse to horse nor is it a known threat to human health.

Dr. Beaty suggests these practices to reduce exposure:

  • Provide horses with clean, fresh drinking water at all times.
  • Eliminate or at least minimize horse access to creeks, streams, or ponds
  • Discuss vaccination options with your veterinarian.
  • Eliminate standing water sources where disease-carrying insects may gather and breed.
  • Turn off insect-attracting stable lights at night.

The State Veterinarian’s office seeks to prevent the spread of disease through import and movement requirements, livestock traceability, disaster mitigation, and the services of the C.E. Kord Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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