EUROPE – More reports of Bluetongue disease have been flooding in from southern Europe to end 2014.
Two hundred new outbreaks of Bluetongue virus have been reported by World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) officials in Croatia and Serbia, both with serotype four.
Of these, over 160 deaths have been reported, many on mixed livestock farms.
Most reports have involved the Srbija region in the eastern half of Serbia, particularly the Pirotski and Borski districts.
Serbian cases reached 425 in the latest report, mostly in sheep, with a 40 per cent sheep fatality rate.
Cyprus, the latest country to be confirmed with Bluetongue, is dealing with the virus in cattle. No deaths have been reported.
The OIE stated: “On 4 December, 6 out of the 9 sentinel cattle reacted positively to bluetongue virus by c-ELISA and on 5 December, 4 cattle reacted positively by real-time PCR.”
Epidemiologists have been striving to pin down the strain of the virus, currently reported to be serotype 16.
A spokesperson added: “Following the laboratory results, movements from and to the holding were prohibited and clinical examination was carried out to investigate if bluetongue signs were present.
“During the clinical examination no animals showed any signs.”
Samples will be sent to the EU Reference Laboratory for virus confirmation and typing.
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