Bluetongue disease appears in UK for the first time

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

The first ever case of Bluetongue disease has been reported in the UK. The case involves a cow at a farm near Ipswich, Suffolk.

Bluetongue affects ruminants such as sheep and cows, but is not known to affect humans. It is sometimes fatal, depending on the animals affected, and presently has no treatment. The disease was prevalent in Africa for many years and had since migrated to European nations such as France and Germany, causing officials had feared a UK outbreak in the UK follows recent outbreaks of the disease on the European continent in nations such as France and Germany.

Experts such as microbiology professor Hugh Pennington of Aberdeen University had suspected the disease would eventually spread to the UK.

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