Bluetongue disease hits first Swiss herd.

Fonction NEWS

The Swiss veterinary authorities registered the country's first case of bluetongue disease after six cows were infected near Basel.

The illness does not infect humans and is not considered dangerous for them, but it can devastate animal herds. The meat from infected animals is not used and their carcasses are eliminated, according to Basel City's cantonal veterinarian, Markus Spichtig.

The bluetongue virus has spread from Germany and France and is affecting much of northwestern Europe. It has been found in Africa, the Americas, Australia, the Middle East and some countries of southern Asia and Oceania.

The virus is transmitted by the bite of an insect--the Culicoides midge--so it is not passed from animal to animal.

The Federal Veterinary Office announced on October 28...

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