EU – Bluetongue virus has returned to Macedonia, ending a decade Bluetongue-free period for the country as the disease continues to sweep across Greece.
Veterinary authorities were alerted to four deaths in sheep/goats on a mixed holding in the east of the country last week before official confirmation of the disease was issued on Tuesday.
The outbreak, which has been met with a tranche of movement and screening measures, means Macedonia joins Greece and Italy on the list of countries with the outbreak.
The discovery accompanies Greek reports of the disease shifting northwards to farms on the border with neighbouring Balkan countries Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria, as well as Turkey to the East.
This takes the virus some 500 kilometres from the southern most mainland region of Peloponnisos, the Greek Bluetongue hotbed.
This is according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) which has been monitoring the Greek outbreak since confirmation at the end of May this year.
This week, a further 66 Greek cases were confirmed by OIE, taking the national toll to 271.
Greek statutory responses include 20 kilometre radius zones and 21 day restriction periods.
Italy, infected since 26 September 2013, also reported 17 on Tuesday. The cases were in previously hit areas in central and south western regions.
Photo courtesy of the National Animal Disease Information Service - NADIS
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