The bluetongue virus has appeared in another 28 Flevoland sheep farmers in a week. This is evident from new figures from the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA).
Most of the newly infected farms can be found in Noordoostpolder. The virus appeared in another fourteen places there. There are now a total of 61 sheep farmers in that municipality with a confirmed or suspected bluetongue infection.
Only Urk has not yet been infected with the virus, but there are also few or no sheep farmers in that municipality.
On the map below you can see how many farms with infected sheep there are in your municipality.
The main culprits of infections are midges: small mosquitoes. The midges transmit the virus, mainly to sheep. The animals themselves are not contagious afterwards.
Once a sheep has the virus, it is often the end of exercise for the animal. The virus attacks the inside of the blood vessels. Ulcers form in the mouth and are extremely painful. As a result, infected sheep stop eating.
A vaccine would be the solution, but that will probably not be available until next May. One bright spot is that the midges cannot stand the cold. The animal will not survive below six degrees. Sheep farmers can therefore hope that lower temperatures will arrive.