A notifiable disease is a disease that must be reported to a government authority such as DEFRA if a person responsible for animals suspects symptoms of a notifiable disease. Reporting the diseases gives an early warning of a potential outbreak and allows the disease to be monitored and controlled before it can become an epidemic or pandemic.

For this report, I have chosen to research the Bluetongue virus which is a notifiable disease that affects ruminants and camelids. Bluetongue is part of the Orbivirus genus in the Reoviridae family and there have been 26 different serotypes of the bluetongue virus identified. Bluetongue is an insect-borne virus passed on by midges (Culicoides imicola) (Culicoides variipennis) and 48 other culicoides which are known vectors for the disease. Bluetongue has the most severe effect on sheep, with cattle showing little to no symptoms at first but acting as reservoirs for the local midges to pick up the disease and infect more vulnerable animals like sheep. Sheep have higher infection rates and a mortality rate as high as 30%.

Bluetongue first originated in South Africa and since 1999 there have been outbreaks of the disease in Europe. The last outbreak to occur in the UK was in 2007 in Suffolk.



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