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Schmallenberg virus: What, where, how?

As Schmallenberg virus is confirmed on 74 farms in the UK, our environment correspondent Richard Black looks at what the virus is, what it does and how it can be tackled.

What is Schmallenberg virus?
Schmallenberg virus is a disease of farm animals that was first seen last year in northern Europe. It is named after the German town, about 80km east of Cologne, where it was identified.

Cases have been seen in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Italy as well as the UK. Incidence in Germany is so far about 10 times the UK level.

It was first identified in the UK in late January.

The virus appears to be a member of the Orthobunyavirus genus. These are known to cause other animal diseases - some serious, others not so.

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