EFSA publishes latest SBV assessment
The situation in the EU by mid-May this year saw a reported 3,745 cases of SBV in holdings across EU member states – a figure confirmed as genuine by eight laboratories across the EU. However, EFSA has concluded that the disease on holdings did not exceed 4% for sheep and 2% for cattle.
There is still no evidence of the virus being able to transmit from any route other than from the mother to the offspring, which is caused through placenta- or vector-borne routes, such as that of the biting midge.
EFSA also confirmed that the new studies supported their initial assessment, undertaken by the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, that it is very unlikely SBV poses a risk to humans.
It is unknown, EFSA said, whether the virus will survive the winter. If it does, however, EFSA’s geographical spread model predicts that SBV is most likely to re-emerge between mid-April and the end of May next year.
It is also thought that any future outbreak of SBV will be of a similar size to the one that occurred in 2011 and, the report says, is likely to affect the regions that were previously unaffected – assuming immunity of animals in previously affected regions.
The authority will continue to monitor and analyse the epidemiological data collected from member states and provide further reports to the European Commission and member states as needed.