State veterinarian confirms case of eastern equine encephalitis in Tennessee

Thoroughbreds grazing on horse farm. / Getty Images/iStockphoto/Bear2016

NASHVILLE - A horse in West Tennessee has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), a virus that can be fatal for horses and humans, according to a Friday news release from the Tennessee Department of Agriculture.

The state's agriculture and health departments advised citizens to take precautions to protect themselves and their livestock.

The horse in Gibson County showed signs of illness, the release states. Testing confirmed it was suffering from EEE, and the horse was euthanized.

Mosquitoes transmit EEE. An infected horse cannot directly transmit the virus to other horses or humans through contact, but mosquitoes can transmit the virus from horses to humans, posing a public health risk.

Tennessee had the first documented human case of EEE in a resident of Hamilton County earlier this summer.