Sep 23, 2007

Blue Tongue enters UK

The deadly Blue tongue disease entered UK. It been discovered in a cow near Ipswich, Suffolk. Officials are investigating the first ever case of bluetongue disease in a British animal. Blue tongue has now joined foot-and-mouth disease as the latest menace to livestock.

The Government's deputy chief veterinary officer Fred Landeg said that all the other animals on the farm in Suffolk would now be tested for evidence of the bluetongue virus. Link

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said the discovery in Suffolk was not considered an outbreak unless further investigation demonstrated that the disease is circulating among animals.

Major signs are high fever, excessive salivation, swelling of the face and tongue and cyanosis of the tongue. Swelling of the lips and tongue gives the tongue its typical blue appearance, though this sign is confined to a minority of the animals. Recovery is very slow.

The incubation period is 5–20 days, and all signs usually develop within one month. The mortality rate is normally low, but is high in susceptible breeds of sheep. In cattle and wild ruminants infection is usually asymptomatic despite high virus levels in blood. Wiki


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