Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Health

Bluetongue outbreak confirmed in sheep

A lab in the UK has confirmed an outbreak of bluetongue serotype 8 in the sheep population, it was reported on Monday.

Bluetongue is an insect-borne, viral disease of ruminants, mainly sheep and less frequently cattle, goats, buffalo, deer, dromedaries, and antelope. It is caused by the Bluetongue virus (BTV), which is transmitted by midges. The disease has 26 serotypes.

According to CNA, the veterinary service said the disease had been confirmed after samples sent to the UK were tested.

Until now, only serotypes 4 and 16 have ever been recorded in Cyprus and because of acquired immunity there have been no cases of clinical symptoms in decades. The disease was first diagnosed in Cyprus in 1924 and it can be fatal to sheep.

France is currently undergoing a major outbreak.

The veterinary service said it was working to eradicate the disease in line with EU regulations and those of the World Organisation for Animal Health.

Treatment includes insecticide against the midge population and vaccines. Antibiotics cannot cure the disease, only treat some of the symptoms, the veterinary service said.

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