Al Ain News
The “epidemic haemorrhagic” disease, which could be fatal to livestock, was detected for the first time in Europe, with the arrival of midges responsible for its transmission “due to climate change”.
The first cases in Europe of this viral disease, which is not transmissible to humans, were detected in the fall of 2022 on the Italian island of Sardinia, and then in Sicily, according to the French health agency, “Ansis”, on Friday.
Other epidemiological foci were also recorded in the Andalusia region in southern Spain.
“This deadly disease leads to fever, loss of appetite, lameness and shortness of breath in cattle,” the French agency said.
The disease, which mainly affects white-tailed deer and cattle, was discovered in the United States in 1955.--
The virus, which is transmitted by midges (family molluscs), has since spread to Asia, Australia and Africa.
“Fifteen years ago, we could never have imagined that the disease could one day reach Europe,” researcher Stefan Zentara said in statements reported by “ANSYS”.
He stated that “its expansion is directly caused by climate change which allows the vector midges to survive in our areas”.
According to the scientist, “the most likely hypothesis is that the midges were carried by the wind across the Mediterranean Sea.”
There is no vaccine available against this type of virus that has been detected in Europe.