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Rising Temperatures Leads to Potential Spread of Bluetongue Virus

25th June 2024

The current rise in temperatures has made the spread of the bluetongue virus likely in high-risk regions in England, researchers caution.

Researcher Chris Sanders of the Pirbright Institute in Surrey discusses why the threat posed by the latest bluetongue strain, BTV-3, to cattle in the United Kingdom is significantly influenced by temperature rise.

He stated: “With the warmer temperatures we’ve recently seen, we know that the activity of biting midges that spread the virus has increased,” Also adding that temperature has an impact on the spread of the bluetongue virus in midges.

He continued: “It is now warm enough that if a midge were to come into contact with BTV-3, local virus transmission between midges and ruminants in the UK would now be possible.”

Although there isn’t a BTV-3 vaccination that is now permitted or recommended for application in the UK, animal caretakers may now get free testing.

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