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There is a new animal disease which causes livestock to have birth detect and miscarriages.  This disease has now been found on 74 farms in England.

The disease is called the Schmallenberg virus.  It originated from Germany and the Netherlands last year.  This disease has been diagnosed five times in cattle and 69 times in sheep.  It is thought that the disease has been spread by midges, mosquitoes and ticks.

No one knows yet how this will affect agriculture.  Let’s hope that this doesn’t become another epidemic like foot and mouth disease.  In the next two weeks lambing season will reach its peak, farmers will then be able to see the extent of the disease during this period.

Unlike foot and mouth disease which caused viruses in humans, The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control says it is

“unlikely Schmallenberg virus would cause disease in humans.”

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