NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Officials are advising horse owners in Tennessee to take precautions after three horses tested positive for viruses that infect the blood.

State veterinarian Charles Hatcher said in a news release Friday that a horse in Davidson County and a horse in Knox County recently contracted West Nile virus.

Also, a horse in Bedford County tested positive for equine infectious anemia.

Sick horses cannot directly infect humans with either disease. Both illnesses are transmitted to horses through biting insects. Equine infectious anemia also can be transmitted by using needles, dental, or surgical equipment on different animals.

Hatcher says horse owners should consult their veterinarians to establish a schedule for vaccines and tests.

Horse owners also should eliminate standing water where insects may gather and avoid mingling their animals with unfamiliar horses.

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