Disease affecting cattle detected in Tennessee


Disease affecting cattle detected in Tennessee

Theileria orientalis has been detected in a cattle herd in Middle Tennessee.  State veterinarian Dr. Samantha Beaty says the tickborne parasite infects red and white blood cells and causes severe anemia in cattle and is often spread by Asian long-horned ticks.

There is no vaccine to prevent the illness or an effective treatment available, and once an animal is infected, it is a carrier for life.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture says producers can minimize risk by keeping cattle out of wooded areas and keeping pastures mowed short, particularly pastures that border woods.  Producers should also inspect cattle for ticks, use varying types of acaricides, and use a clean needle for every injection. 

Theileria is not a threat to human health and humans can not become sick from contact with affected cattle and consuming meat from affected cattle is safe.