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Emerging Diseases
Outbreak assessments highlight current uncertainties about SBV

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THE AHVLA reported this week that, by February 13, Schmallenberg virus (SBV) had been identified in a total of 40 farms in the south and east of England, across the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, East Sussex, West Sussex and Hertfordshire. All of the counties where SBV had been identified were in zones recognised as potentially at risk from infected midges being blown across last summer from affected areas in northern mainland Europe.

The AHVLA has produced an information note about the virus, which is available for farmers and vets to download. In the meantime, Defra's International Disease Monitoring (IDM) Team has updated its assessment of the outbreak, and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has produced a preliminary assessment of some possible scenarios for how the virus might spread.

The AHVLA's information note discusses the emergence of the new virus in the Netherlands and Germany in 2011 and its current geographical distribution. It also considers modes of transmission and the areas of Great Britain that may be most at risk of infection. It suggests that the initial introduction of the virus into the UK was either via …

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