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Beware Midges Transmitting Deadly Virus!

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  • imp s
    ... (imp notes: new type of midge here in Northern Virginia - persistent and cunning evasive / stalking behavior, resists brushing or even swatting away, much
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 9 7:11 AM
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      (imp notes:
      "new type of midge here in Northern Virginia - persistent and cunning evasive / stalking behavior, resists brushing or even swatting away, much sturdier (not dislodged by swiping or swatting, needs to be SCRATCHED or PICKED off victims even after mere seconds of contact) - stronger and faster than classic miserable midges of earlier years, immediate itch and prolonged soreness and swelling at bite location, with following episodes of lethargy, breathing irregularity, stool irregularity... possibly nano-modified carrier... if your animals are housed outside, they are at high risk of contact, midges like heat and are even out in full sun in some times - use extreeme caution and consider agressive insect remediation policies.. i am using a citronella kerosene wipe rag for legs ears and base of tail along with basic flea dust applied sparingly.... peruse the following article and ponder what it means for us humans and ruminants the world over..)

      ...

      Deadly sheep virus may spread across Britain by end of the year, experts warn

      (pic) Schmallenberg virus found on 276 farms in southern and eastern England
      Causes newborn lambs and calves to be born dead or with severe deformities
      FSA: No danger that humans can catch the disease

      By Tamara Cohen

      PUBLISHED: 10:36 EST, 7 August 2012


      A virus which causes newborn lambs and calves to be born dead or with serious deformities could spread across Britain by the end of year.

      Experts warned today that the Schmallenberg virus – found on 276 British farms since it first entered this country last year – has not died out as hoped.

      It has already killed hundreds of animals in southern and eastern England, and could spread north and west and into Wales and Scotland in the coming months.
      The Schmallenberg virus causes lambs and calves to be born dead or with serious deformities - and experts warn it could spread across Britain

      The Schmallenberg virus causes lambs and calves to be born dead or with serious deformities - and experts warn it could spread across Britain

      Some farmers have reported up to 50 per cent of their lambs affected, although the average rate of affected newborns per farm is only 2 to 5 per cent.

      The disease is thought to be spread by midges - tiny bloodsucking insects which blow into England from continental Europe where Schmallenberg disease has hit thousands of farms in eight countries.

      (inset)

      Deadly new flu strain kills 162 harbor seals in New England after jumping from waterfowl to mammals and scientists fear it could infect humans too
      Lamb virus is not a threat to humans, says food watchdog as number of farms involved increases to 83

      Adult animals which are infected by a bite, fall ill for just a few days then recover, but if they are pregnant it can spread to their foetus, which cannot fight it, with devastating results.


      Q&A

      What is the virus?

      The illness was first seen last
      summer in the town of
      Schmallenberg in Germany
      and the cause was identified
      as a new virus in December.

      It is part of a group originating
      in Asia, Australia and Africa
      and has not been found in
      Europe before.

      What does it do?

      Some adult cows are ill for several
      days then recover, but infected newborn calves and lambs were stillbirths or had serious deformities and could not survive.

      How does it spread?

      It is thought to have been brought to Europe by biting insects such as midges.

      Scientists do not believe there is animal-to-animal transmission.

      Is there a vaccine?

      Yes. It has been developed but needs to be tested before it is licenced and is unlikely to be available this year.

      Can humans get it?

      No one has so far.

      The Food Standards Agency believe there is no risk to humans.

      - - -

      Lambs have been born with fused limbs, misshapen heads and twisted necks which mean they cannot survive.

      Calves are more likely to be stillborn or born without a developed brain and nervous system.

      No humans have caught the virus and the Food Standards Agency say there is no evidence they will catch it.

      Blood tests on more than 1,000 animals at the Royal Veterinary College's farm in Hertfordshire which was hit by the virus, show infections rose slightly between March and June this year.

      Professor Peter Mertens of the Institute for Animal Health at Pirbright in Surrey said: `Animals that had originally been negative for antibodies against the virus became positive, indicating that the virus has survived the winter and is circulating here during the current midge season.

      `We had hoped that it might simply burn itself out and fail to make a reappearance this year but this has not been the case.

      `On the basis it spread last year very effectively, I see no reason why it couldn't spread to cover most of the country this year.'

      A vaccine has been produced by a pharmaceutical company but needs testing and is not likely to be licensed for use until next year, he said.

      Most at risk are individual animals and herds which were not affected during this year's outbreak and therefore have no immunity to the virus.

      Sheep are thought to be at greatest risk of having deformed offspring because their mating season is only in the autumn so the risk to a whole herd is greater than for cows, which mate all year round.

      Professor Mertens, who heads the Vector-borne Diseases Group, said in a few farms, 30 or even 50 per cent of young had been affected.

      He said: `That is relatively rare - normally it is a much smaller number - but if they all become affected at just the wrong time in the pregnancy it can happen and it is devastating for those farmers affected.

      `So while it is low risk, this is still serious and it is important we consider what measures can be taken.'
      The disease is thought to be spread by midges which blow into England from continental Europe where it has hit thousands of farms in eight countries

      The disease is thought to be spread by midges which blow into England from continental Europe where it has hit thousands of farms in eight countries

      Chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens said Schmallenberg virus is less severe than Bluetongue which swept through British farms in 2007 triggering an emergency vaccination programme amid fears it could kill 10million animals.

      Named after the small German town where it was first spotted last summer, it has so far affected farms in East Anglia, the South East and South West of England.

      It causes only mild symptoms in adult cattle such as fever, diarrhoea and a reduced milk yield for a few days, similar in severity to a human cold or flu. But ewes show no symptoms until their young are born.

      How far it spreads depends on the weather as midges thrive when it is hot.

      This virus is part of a group originating in Africa and Asia and has not been found in Europe before.

      Prof Mertens said climate change was a factor in moving its boundaries north, as well as the increase in international trade and travel.

      He said: `The door is open. Other viruses may come through that door.'

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2184957/Schmallenberg-virus-Deadly-sheep-diseasse-spread-Britain-end-year.html

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