Bluetongue outbreak detected in Denmark - EU

Sat Oct 13, 2007 1:50pm EDT

BRUSSELS Oct 13 (Reuters) - An outbreak of the bluetongue virus has been reported in Denmark in a sheep herd near Sakskobing on the island of Lolland, south of Zealand, the European Commission said on Saturday.

Clinical symptoms of bluetongue were identified in a sheep that died less than 48 hours after signs of the virus were observed, the EU executive said in a statement.

The announcement makes Denmark the latest north European country to report an outbreak of the disease.

Bluetongue is an insect-borne viral disease that affects domestic and wild ruminants. It does not affect humans and there is no risk of the disease being contracted or spread through meat or milk.

It has spread with alarming speed across Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France and Britain.

The Danish authorities were taking necessary measures, including demarcation of an amended restricted zone, the Commission said.

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