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Bluetongue particularly affects bison, water buffalo and deer. The virus is transmitted by sheep.
The causative agent of bluetongue is a virus. It circulates according to the Advisory Service and Health for Small Ruminants (BGK) in virtually all flocks of sheep, but sheep show no signs of disease. The disease occurs sporadically in cattle.
Very receptive to bison
Bison, water buffaloes and some types of deer are very likely. The pathway of transmission of the sheep pathogen to these species is not entirely clear. According to current findings, the infection occurs through direct contact or through contaminated food or water.
It is not always possible to prove contact with sheep. Presumably, factors such as genetic predisposition or the immune system are involved, so it's an epidemic.
As a rule, individual cattle from a stock contract at the age of 6 to 24 months. Rarely, several animals in a herd are affected. Inappetence, high fever, nasal and ocular discharge and corneal opacity are the first signs of the disease. This is usually very violent and leads to death a few days after the onset of the first symptoms.
Keep the sheep separate
Sheep and cattle should be kept in separate stables and grazing on the same plot should not be conducted simultaneously but sequentially. In highly sensitive species, additional measures to prevent transmission of the virus should be considered.