SBV induces late abortion or birth defects in newborn livestock
The virus has infected more than 1,200 cattle, sheep and goats in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the UK, as of posting
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- Northern Europe. At least 7 northern European countries have reported more than 1,200 cases of Schmallenberg Virus (SBV) infections in cattle, sheep and goats.
- Schmallenberg Virus is a new emerging livestock disease that was first detected in the town of Schmallenberg, North Rhein-Westphalia region, Germany.
- SBV causes acute illness and induces late abortion or birth defects in the newborn livestock.
- “This exotic virus may cause severe congenital damages in pregnant animals, as well as premature births and reproductive disorders. Calves that are not stillborn may suffer from serious brain and limb malformations,” a report said.
- The virus is believed to be transmitted through arthropod vectors including mosquitoes, midges, ticks and sand flies.
- A significant increase in reporting from the known affected countries is noted by the International Disease Monitoring section of UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
- “Women who are, or who may be, pregnant are potentially at risk of acquiring certain infectious diseases from pregnant livestock including sheep. Pregnant women who come into close contact with sheep during lambing may risk their own health and that of their unborn child, from infections which can occur in some ewes,” UK’s HPA said.