The Emergence and Spread of Schmallenberg Virus in Europe
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The recent outbreak of SBV across Europe is a reminder that new diseases continue to threaten our livestock. Factors such as worldwide exports could have contributed to the emergence of new viruses in Europe, such as SBV. It is predicted that the disease will produce new congenital malformations during the coming winter period, as it did last year. Europe has dealt with SBV quite quickly, with a vaccine currently on the market only a year and a half after the first cases were ever recorded. There is still a large population of ruminants that remain susceptible to the disease. To minimise loses, certain preventative protocols mentioned previously, including vaccination should be carried out. Surveillance is essential to monitor the progress of the epidemic and its impact on the livestock industry. More information about SBV is necessary to properly predict the future impact of the disease. In particular, regarding the hosts immunity developed once infected or vaccinated, and whether this immunity is lifelong or not (10). We, as professional veterinary surgeons must maintain our vigilence and biosecurity protocols regarding international transport to try and reduce further spread of disease or the introduction of foreign diseases to new countries.