Schmallenberg virus: Nine more cases found

A flock of sheep UK livestock may have been infected by midges blown from mainland Europe

Related Stories

Nine more farms in the south of England have reported cases of a disease which causes birth defects and miscarriages in livestock, the government says.

It means a total of 92 cases of the Schmallenberg virus have been reported in the UK.

Two new cases are cattle, the others sheep, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said.

Humans are thought to be unaffected by the virus, which is understood to be spread by midges, mosquitoes and ticks.

In England, it has now been identified on the Isle of Wight and in Wiltshire, West Berkshire and Gloucestershire.

This is in addition to farms in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, East and West Sussex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Hampshire and Cornwall, which have previously identified cases.

Defra said it suspected livestock may have got the virus from infected midges blown across the Channel from affected areas in Europe.

Infection is apparently symptomless in adult sheep. However, the virus can damage the foetus when pregnant females are infected, leading to a range of deformities at birth.

None of the affected farms have imported animals during 2011 from the affected areas in mainland Europe.

The impact of the disease on the UK sheep flock should become clear over the next two weeks as the lambing season reaches its peak.

The National Farmers Union had previously warned the industry to expect hundreds of reports of Schmallenberg in the coming weeks.

Schmallenberg virus cases

Location Cattle Sheep Total

Source: AHVLA, 2 March

Cornwall

1

1

East Sussex

17

17

Essex

5

5

Hampshire

2

2

Hertfordshire

4

4

Isle of Wight

1

1

Kent

1

15

15

Norfolk

3

14

17

Suffolk

2

12

14

S Gloucestershire

1

1

Surrey

2

2

West Berkshire

1

1

West Sussex

1

9

10

Wiltshire

1

1

Total cases:

7

85

92

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More UK stories

RSS

Features

  • HandshakeKiss and make up

    A marriage counsellor on healing the referendum hurt


  • Pellet of plutoniumRed alert

    The scary element that helped save the crew of Apollo 13


  • Burnt section of the Umayyad Mosque in the old city of AleppoBefore and after

    Satellite images reveal Syria's heritage trashed by war


  • Woman on the phone in office10 Things

    The most efficient break is 17 minutes, and more nuggets


  • Amir TaakiDark market

    The bitcoin wallet with controversial users


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.