For the first time in over two years, outbreak of the BHV1 cattle disease in Bavaria
The bovine disease BHV1 broke out in Bavarian Möttingen (district of Donau-Ries). A restricted area was set up around the affected fattening farm in the Balgheim district. This is the first outbreak of cattle disease in Bavaria for more than two years.
BHV1 was last proven in Bavaria in October 2011. Since then, according to the EU Commission's official assessment, the Free State has been considered a BHV1-free region. "Unfortunately there has been a new outbreak," reports the district of Donau-Ries. More than 100 cattle from the fattening stock in Möttingen must be killed in order to prevent the pathogens from spreading. The restricted area is also used to contain the pathogens. In the village of Balgheim “it is now valid that cattle can only be brought out of the restricted area with permission. Applications for approval must be submitted to the Veterinary Office, ”said the district of Donau-Ries.
BHV1 a danger for cattle, sheep, goats and other ruminants The Bovine Herpes Virus 1 (BHV1) is quite dangerous for cattle, but also for sheep, goats and wild ruminants. In cattle, the virus leads to severe “respiratory diseases, sometimes resulting in death, and fertility problems,” reports the district of Donau-Ries. In addition, the spread of the pathogens is extremely critical, since “a cattle infected with these viruses remains the carrier of the virus for life”. Once the animals have passed through the infection, the BHV1 viruses nest in the so-called ganglion cells of the central nervous system without multiplying or causing any symptoms. Also, "no viruses are excreted in this phase, so that no other animals can be infected," the official announcement of the district.
Viruses remain in the organism for a lifetime after infection. However, from then on, “with every weakening of the immune system (for example due to transport, changing stables, illness, childbirth, poor housing conditions)” there is a risk of a new outbreak, including excretion of the viruses, reports the Danube district -Ries on. Here, the bovine herpes viruses do not differ from the herpes viruses that are also common in humans - such as herpes zoster (triggers chickenpox on initial infection, triggers shingles if it breaks out again) or herpes simplex viruses (cold sores). The Bovine Herpes Virus 1 is, however, according to the district, "completely harmless to humans."
Respiratory tract diseases typical consequence of a BHV1 infection Cattle suffering from an infection with BHV1 usually show symptoms in the upper respiratory tract (nose and trachea) and high fever, with which body temperatures up to 42 degrees Celsius are reached. Serous nasal discharge mixed with blood is also considered a conspicuous sign of BHV1 infection. Hyperemia (excessive blood supply) often occurs in the muzzle and nasal mucous membranes, which can lead to a recognizable dark red discoloration. A decrease in milk yield can often be observed at the beginning of the disease, reports the Donau-Ries district. In the later course of the disease, cough and discharge from the eyes are usually part of the symptoms. Occasionally, "pin-sized pustule-like elevations can also be seen on the nasal mucosa," the district officials said. The incubation period is two to six days, the acute or infectious phase of the disease lasts an average of ten to 14 days.
Search for the source of infection The affected fattening stock in Balgheim will have to be completely killed, according to the responsible veterinary office. However, the Bavarian animal epidemic paid the farmers financial compensation for this. The authorities advise all farmers in Ries to “exercise extreme caution when buying something, or to refrain from doing so altogether.” Outside the company, such as veterinarians, inseminators or livestock dealers, it is essential that you wear clean boots and protective clothing before entering the stable. In the event of suspected BHV1 infection in the cattle, this should be reported immediately to the Veterinary Office (tel. 0906 / 74-422), since it is a notifiable disease. "The official veterinarians of the Veterinary Office will then initiate further examinations as soon as possible," reports the district of Donau-Ries. This had also happened in the current case. At the moment, environmental surveys are still being carried out in the affected area, but according to the district's information, the results have not yet been obtained. It is particularly important for local farmers to identify the source of BHV1 infections as quickly as possible in order to protect themselves or their crops from the threat as efficiently as possible. However, it remains to be seen whether and how an external entry of the pathogen has taken place. (fp)
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