In February 1991 a severe haemorrhagic disease affected exotic deer aged over six months in the Al-Hofuf area of the eastern region of Saudi Arabia. The morbidity rate was 40 per cent and the case fatality rate was 60 per cent. The clinical signs were high temperature (up to 41.5 degrees C), nasal discharge, slight salivation and lacrimation, congestion of the conjunctivae, torticollis, tremors when trying to stand, recumbency and coma leading to death. Post mortem examination revealed a severe haemorrhagic disease. A virus, serologically related to the bluetongue serogroup, was isolated from the deer. Sheep and goats kept on the same farm did not show any clinical signs. The epidemiology of the outbreak is discussed.
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