Detect a new virus affecting cattle in the Netherlands and Belgium
The virus causes diarrhea, fever, and abortions in cows. And causes birth defects in lambs
Day 03/01/2012 - 1:45 p.m.
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A new virus named Schmallenberg , producing congenital malformations in lambs and calves and causes fever, severe diarrhea and abortions in cattle , has spread from Holland to Belgium, where it has been detected in 27 and 9 farms, respectively.
The Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (AFSCA) of Belgium has provided new data on the affected farms, after last week the virus was identified in six farms of its kind in Flanders , particularly in the province of Antwerp , said the agency Belga.
The Center for Studies and Research Veterinary and Agrochemical (CESR), Belgian reference laboratory for animal diseases detected the virus for the first time in this country on December 22 .
Without risk to humans
Schmallenberg virus, which also causes a decrease in milk production but it poses risks to human health, experts say. The virus was found in newborn lambs belonging to an agricultural enterprise in the province of Antwerp.
The virus is known as the German city of Schmallenberg, located in North Rhine-Westphalia, near the Benelux countries, where it was first detected on Nov. 18 in a deformed calf .
Later he was found in 27 Dutch farms, said Vice Minister of Agriculture from Holland, Hans Bleker, the Parliament, according to the radio station Nederland.
Two days before had been detected only in four farms, which shows that the virus spreads apparently quickly .
Holland is analyzing evidence from 55 farms, while 26 others have not found the virus.
So far 107 farms have reported suspected outbreaks to the Dutch Authority for Food Safety and Consumer Products (NVWA).
It affects only cattle and sheep
Preliminary investigations point to a transmission through mosquitoes , according to public broadcaster RTBF Belgium Francophone.
There is no vaccine against the virus or specific treatment and there is no evidence to conclude that it can infect other livestock other than cattle and sheep.
The National Institute for Public Health of the Netherlands (RIVM) thought unlikely that the virus can affect humans, supporting the Belgian authorities.
Have so far been detected in two ways manifested Schmallenberg virus, the first of which has been observed in cows and calves and is characterized by fever , reduced milk production, diarrhea, severe and sometimes abortions .
The second form creates birth defects (in the extremities, causing hydrocephalus or torticollis) in the lambs newborn Belgian agency said