The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

First Case of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

The Swiss Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs (BLV) has confirmed the first case of Epizootic Haemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in Switzerland. The disease is spread by mosquitoes and is not dangerous to humans. The case occurred on a farm in Wohlen, near Bern. Since 2022, outbreaks of the disease have been reported in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France, but there is currently no approved vaccine.

The mortality rate in livestock is very low, and there is no obligation to slaughter infected animals or other animals on affected farms. However, farmers must report any cases or signs of the disease to their veterinarian. The greatest danger is the spread of infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of the disease include sudden high fever, listlessness and bleeding at various parts of the body. Many infected animals may also refuse to eat, and bloody diarrhoea can be a consequence.

Humans cannot contract the disease, and the consumption of meat or milk from infected animals is safe. The virus mainly affects deer and cattle, but sheep and goats can also be infected, although they rarely show any visible symptoms.

©Keystone/SDA

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