Epidemiology of Bluetongue virus serotype 8 outbreaks in the Netherlands in 2006. In August 2006 a major epidemic of Bluetongue (bt) occurred in north-western Europe, affecting the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Luxemburg, and the north of France. It was caused by bt virus serotype 8 (btv-8), a serotype previously unknown to the eu. Although clinical disease is usually restricted to sheep, this virus also caused clinical disease in a small proportion of cattle. The last clinical outbreak of bt in the Netherlands occurred mid-December 2006. The delay between observation of the first clinical signs by the owner and reporting of a clinically suspect bt situation to the veterinary authorities was approximately 2 weeks. btv-8-associated clinical signs were more prominent in sheep than in cattle, and the relative frequency of specifi c clinical signs was different in cattle and sheep. Morbidity and mortality rates were signifi cantly higher among sheep than among cattle, and a higher proportion of cattle than sheep recovered from clinical disease
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